How tedious and tasteless the hours

How tedious and tasteless the hours
When Jesus no longer I see!
Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flow’rs,
Have all lost their sweetness to me.
The midsummer sun shines but dim,
The fields strive in vain to look gay;
But when I am happy in Him
December’s as pleasant as May.
His name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music His voice;
His presence disperses my gloom,
And makes all within me rejoice.
I should, were He always thus nigh,
Have nothing to wish or to fear;
No mortal so happy as I;
My summer would last all the year.
Content with beholding His face,
My all to His pleasure resigned;
No changes of season or place,
Would make any change in my mind.
While blessed with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.
My Lord, if indeed I am Thine,
If Thou art my sun and my song,
Say, why do I languish and pine?
And why are my winters so long?
Oh, drive these dark clouds from the sky,
Thy soul-cheering presence restore;
Or take me to Thee up on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more.


Judy, it means that the Lord’s love is incomparable. When we sense His love, even a palace would seem to us like a toy, and a prison like a palace.


Manhattan, KS, United States

I bet one of you wise folks commenting on this song could help me out with this. I love singing this song, but am always confused by this line. What does it mean to you?

While blessed with a sense of His love,

A palace a toy would appear;


Have fallen into depression. These words came to me after long forgotten years. Yes Lord, I long for your Presence.

Ronald Coleman

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Wonderful words!


Quoted by Dallas Willard in

The Spirit of the Disciplines.

Wonderful hymn


Sevierville, TN, United States

I’m 66. And never heard this beautiful song before tonight. God sent it my way.

Oladimeji Idowu

Mafikeng, Northwest Territories

At the airport waiting the arrival of my boss and a lot of uncertainties lie ahead. Then my head dozing away was awakened by the lyrics.

Lord I believe, You have done it before and will do it Again.

Justin Carey

Olmsted Twp., Ohio, United States

My grandparents were from Millstone, KY and Old Regular Baptists. I would pick bluegrass with my Papaw a couple nights a week and my sweet Mamaw would stop us sometimes and ask me to sing this beautiful hymn. She’s now in Heaven with our Lord and my Papaw and probably singing this song every day! I can’t wait to sing it with her again and praise Jesus forevermore.

Janice Cruce

Tallahassee, FL, United States

Yesterday I walked where no one could hear me sing and I was thinking about my daddy and a song he often sang. I know I never sang it in church. It was so sweet to think of him, his life, and how he loved this song, so I sang it, too. He must have sung this as a boy in church. I often forget he was in WW 2, separated for a while from those he loved. As I reflected on my life... that last sentence is so true for me, too. Thank you, Daddy Abe!

Dan Castleberry

Robins, IA, United States

This song was a favorite song in the lives of my people in Kentucky. I have remembered it along my 83 years trek of life. I recently held my darling wife of 65 yrs as she went to be with HIM. I now know the meaning of every word in this greet old worship song of His people. I long to follow her. and join the endless joy of an eternity in HIS home town of sinless perfection.