Archive for ‘Hymns’

Friday, 31 July 2020

Nearer, My God, to Thee by Sarah Fuller Flower Adams

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear
Steps unto Heaven,
All that Thou send’st me
In mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Than, with my waking thoughts
Bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs,
Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!


Date: 1841

By: Sarah Fuller Flower Adams (1805-1848)

Friday, 13 December 2019

Hymn for Saint Lucia by Arvid Rosén

Nightly, go heavy hearts
Round farm and steading
On earth, where sun departs,
shadows are spreading.
Then on our darkest night,
Comes with her shining light
Saint Lucia! Saint Lucia!
Then on our darkest night,
Comes with her shining light
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia

Night-darkling, huge and still.
Hark! something’s stirring!
In all our silent rooms,
Wingbeats are whisp’ring!
Stands on our threshold there,
White clad, lights in her hair,
Saint Lucia! Saint Lucia!
Stands on our threshold there,
White clad, lights in her hair,
Saint Lucia! Saint Lucia!

“Darkness shall fly away
Through earthly portals!”
She brings such wonderful
words to us mortals!
“Daylight, again renewed,
will rise, all rosy-hued!”
Saint Lucia! Saint Lucia!
“Daylight, again renewed,
will rise, all rosy-hued!”
Saint Lucia! Saint Lucia!


Date: 1928 (original in Swedish); 19?? (translation in English)

By: Arvid Rosén (1895-1973)

Translated by: Colin MacCallum (19??- )

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Print Thine Image, Pure and Holy by Thomas Hansen Kingo

Print thine image, pure and holy,
On my heart, O Lord of Grace;
So that nothing, high or lowly,
Thy blest likeness can efface.
Let the clear inscription be:
Jesus, crucified for me,
And the Lord of all creation,
Be my refuge and salvation.


Date: 1689 (original in Danish); 1945 (translation in English)

By: Thomas Hansen Kingo (1634-1703)

Translated by: Jens Christian Aaberg (1877-1970)

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Abide with Me by Henry Francis Lyte

“Abide with us: for it is toward evening; and the day is far spent.” — St. Luke xxiv. 29

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens: Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away:
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou, who changest not, abide with me!

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free,
Come, not to sojourn, but abide, with me!

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings;
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings:
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me!

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me!

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the Tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me!

I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes:
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee.
In life and death, O Lord, abide with me!

Berryhead, September 1847.

From: Lyte, Henry Francis, Miscellaneous Poems, 1868, Rivingtons: London, Oxford, and Cambridge, pp. 297-299.

Date: 1847

By: Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)

Saturday, 10 September 2016

A Hymne to be Sung by All Englande: Women, Youthes, Clarkes, and Souldiers by John Still

From mercilesse Invaders, from wicked men’s device,
O God! Arise and helpe us to quele owre enemies.
Kyrye eleison. Christe eleison.

Sinke deepe their potent Navies, their strengthe and corage breake,
O God! Arise and save us, for Jesus Christ his sake.

Though cruel Spain and Parma, with heathene legions come,
O God! Arise and arm us, we’ll dye for owre home.

We will not change owre Credo, for Pope, nor boke, nor bell;
And yf the Devil come him self, we’ll hounde him back to hell.


Date: 1588

By: John Still (1543-1607)

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Temple Hymn 15: The Gishbanda Temple of Ningishzida by Enheduanna

ancient place
set deep in the mountain
dark shrine frightening and red place
safely placed in a field
no one can fathom your mighty hair-raising path
the neck-stock the fine-eyed net
the foot-shackling netherworld knot
your restored high wall is massive
like a trap
your inside the place where the sun rises
yields widespread abundance
your prince the pure-handed
shita priest of Inanna heaven’s holy one
Lord Ningishzida
his thick and beautiful hair
falls down his back
O Gishbanda
has built this house on your radiant site
and placed his seat upon your dais.


Date: 3rd millennium BCE (original in Sumerian); 2010 (translation in English)

By: Enheduanna (2285-2250 BCE)

Translated by: Betty De Shong Meador (19??- )

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Canticle of the Sun by Francis of Assissi (Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone)

Here begin the praises of the creatures which the Blessed Francis made to the praise and honor of god while he was ill at St. Damian’s:

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord,
Praise, glory and honor and benediction all, are Thine.
To Thee alone do they belong, most High,
And there is no man fit to mention Thee.

Praise be to Thee, my Lord, with all Thy creatures,
Especially to my worshipful brother sun,
The which lights up the day, and through him dost Thou brightness give;
And beautiful is he and radiant with splendor great;
Of Thee, most High, signification gives.

Praised be my Lord, for sister moon and for the stars,
In heaven Thou hast formed them clear and precious and fair.

Praised be my Lord for brother wind
And for the air and clouds and fair and every kind of weather,
By the which Thou givest to Thy creatures nourishment.

Praised be my Lord for sister water,
The which is greatly helpful and humble and precious and pure.

Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
By the which Thou lightest up the dark.
And fair is he and gay and mighty and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our sister, mother earth,
The which sustains and keeps us
And brings forth diverse fruits with grass and flowers bright.

Praised be my Lord for those who for Thy love forgive
And weakness bear and tribulation.
Blessed those who shall in peace endure,
For by Thee, most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be my Lord for our sister, the bodily death,
From the which no living man can flee.
Woe to them who die in mortal sin;
Blessed those who shall find themselves in Thy most holy will,
For the second death shall do them no ill.

Praise ye and bless ye my Lord, and give Him thanks,
And be subject unto Him with great humility.

From: Robinson, Pashcal (translator), The Writings of St. Francis of Assissi, 2007, Santa Cruz, California, pp. 152-153.

Date: 1225 (original); 1905 (translation)

By: Francis of Assissi (Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone) (1181/1182-1226)

Translated by: Paschal (David) Robinson (1870-1948)

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Cædmon’s Hymn by Cædmon

Now must we praise / heaven-kingdom’s Guardian,
the Measurer’s might / and his mind-plans,
the work of the Glory-Father, / when he of wonders of every one,
eternal Lord, / the beginning established.
He first created / for men’s sons
heaven as a roof, / holy Creator;
then middle-earth / mankind’s Guardian,
eternal Lord / afterwards made —
for men earth, / Master almighty.


Date: 7th century (original in Old English); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Cædmon (fl. 657-680)

Translated by: Michael Delahoyd (19??- )

Friday, 17 April 2015

If I Could Shut the Gate Against My Thoughts by John Daniel

If I could shut the gate against my thoughts
And keep out sorrow from this room within,
Or memory could cancel all the notes
Of my misdeeds, and I unthink my sin:
How free, how clear, how clean my soul should lie,
Discharged of such a loathsome company!

Or were there other rooms without my heart
That did not to my conscience join so near,
Where I might lodge the thoughts of sin apart
That I might not their clam’rous crying hear;
What peace, what joy, what ease should I possess,
Freed from their horrors that my soul oppress!

But, O my Saviour, who my refuge art,
Let Thy dear mercies stand ’twixt them and me,
And be the wall to separate my heart
So that I may at length repose me free;
That peace, and joy, and rest may be within,
And I remain divided from my sin.


Date: 1606

By: John Daniel (?1564-c1626)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Give Heed, My Heart, Lift Up Thine Eyes by Martin Luther

Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes;
Who is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this Child so young and fair?
The blessèd Christ-child lieth there.

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber, kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I too must sing with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle-song:

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto men His Son that given;
While angels sing with pious mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth. Amen.


Date: 1524 (original in German); 1858 (translation in English)

By: Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Translated by: Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)