Monday, 23 May 2011

So shall each fear, each fret, each care

A hymn by the splendidly-named Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), whose most famous hymn is probably 'I heard the voice of Jesus say'. Hymns Ancient and Modern has it to the tune 'Richmond', aka 'City of God, how broad and far' but according to these people you could also sing it to that crazy (but wonderful) tune 'Ellacombe' -i.e. 'The day of Resurrection! Earth tell it out abroad' (yes. That one.)

Anyway. I think these words are too gentle for either tune, but I may be simply being sentimental. In particular, I absolutely love the penultimate verse. Read it and see what you think.

Fill thou my life, O Lord my God,
in every part with praise,
that my whole being may proclaim
thy being and thy ways.

Not for the lip of praise alone,
nor e'en the praising heart,
I ask, but for a life made up
of praise in every part:

Praise in the common things of life,
its goings out and in;
praise in each duty and deed,
however small and mean.

Fill every part of me with praise;
let all my being speak
of thee and of thy love, O Lord,
poor though I be, and weak.

So shalt thou, Lord, from me, e'en me,
receive the glory due;
and so shall I begin on earth
the song forever new.

So shall each fear, each fret, each care
be turned into a song,
and every winding of the way
the echo shall prolong;

So shall no part of day or night
from sacredness be free;
but all my life, in every step
be fellowship with thee.

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