The Lord Will Happiness Divine

The Lord will happiness divine
On contrite hearts bestow;
Then tell me, gracious God, is mine
A contrite heart or no?

I hear, but seem to hear in vain,
Insensible as steel;
If aught is felt, ’tis only pain,
To find I cannot feel.

I sometimes think myself inclined
To love thee, if I could;
But often feel another mind,
Averse to all that’s good.

My best desires are faint and few,
I fain would strive for more;
But when I cry, “My strength renew!”
Seem weaker than before.

Thy saints are comforted, I know,
And love Thy house of prayer;
I therefore go where others go,
But find no comfort there.

Oh make this heart rejoice, or ache;
Decide this doubt for me;
And if it be not broken, break,
And heal it, if it be.

– William Cowper, Olney Hymns, 1779

This Joyful Eastertide

This is my favourite Easter hymn. A joyful Easter, everyone! Christ is Risen!

 

This joyful Eastertide,
away with care and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
hath sprung to life this morrow.
Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne’er burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now is Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen, arisen.

Death’s flood hath lost its chill,
since Jesus crossed the river:
Lover of souls, from ill
my passing soul deliver.
Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne’er burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now is Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen, arisen.

My flesh in hope shall rest,
and for a season slumber,
till trump from east to west
shall wake the dead in number.
Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne’er burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now is Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen, arisen.

Words: George R. Woodward (1848-1934), 1894

Music: Vruechten (This Joyful Eastertide) (Dutch melody from David’s Psalmen, Amsterdam, 1685, arranged Charles Wood, 1866-1926)

 

What Wondrous Love is This? (piano improvisation by Andrew Hicks)

Andrew Hicks, who sometimes posts comments here, has a wonderful improvisation on ‘What Wondrous Love is This?’ on his YouTube channel. Here it is.

There are many more wonderful recordings on Andrew’s channel, most of them of his playing and/or the singing of the choir he directs. Why not go and have a listen? It will not only delight your heart, it will be nourishment for your soul too.

Waterson: Carthy: ‘Raggle-Taggle Gypsies’

So here’s a whole band: Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Norma Waterson, Saul Rose, and Tim Van Eyken, singing ‘Raggle-Taggle Gypsies‘. This song exists in many versions, including ‘The Seven Yellow Gypsies’, ‘The Gypsy Laddie’, and ‘Black-Jack Davy’. This is an east Anglian version that Martin, Norma and Eliza learned from Walter Pardon.

It’s followed by their version of an old hymn, ‘Stars in My Crown‘.

 

P.S. Now Amazon is telling me that ‘The Moral of the Elephant‘ won’t be available on their Canadian site until July 8th. Sigh. I give up; I’ve ordered it from Amazon.co.uk.

Lord, Thee I Love With All My Heart

 

I came across this hymn this week on The Music Box. All I can say is, those old writers knew how to pen a hymn.

Lord, thee I love with all my heart;
I pray thee, ne’er from me depart,
With tender mercy cheer me.
Earth has no pleasure I would share,
Yea, heav’n itself were void and bare
If thou, Lord, were not near me.
And should my heart for sorrow break,
My trust in thee no one could shake.
Thou art the portion I have sought;
Thy precious blood my soul has bought.
Lord Jesus Christ, my God and Lord, my God and Lord,
Forsake me not! I trust thy Word.

Yea, Lord, ’twas thy rich bounty gave
My body, soul, and all I have
In this poor life of labour.
Lord, grant that I in ev’ry place
May glorify thy lavish grace
And help and serve my neighbour.
Let no false doctrine me beguile;
And Satan not my soul defile.
Give strength and patience unto me
To bear my cross and follow thee.
Lord Jesus Christ, my God and Lord, my God and Lord,
In death thy comfort still afford.

Lord, let at last thine angels come,
To Abram’s bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, thy glorious face,
My Saviour and my fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise thee without end.

German words by Martin Schalling, 1532-1608, translated 1858 by Catherine Winkworth