Friday, January 31, 2014

Christian! Dost Thou See Them?

Christian! dost thou see them
On the holy ground,
How the powers of darkness
Rage thy steps around?
Christian! up and smite them,
Counting gain but loss,
In the strength that cometh
By the holy cross.

Christian! dost thou feel them,
How they work within
Striving, tempting, luring,
Goading into sin?
Christian! never tremble;
Never be downcast;
Gird thee for the battle;
Watch, and pray, and fast!

Christian! dost thou hear them,
How they speak thee fair?
“Always fast and vigil?
Always watch and prayer?”
Christian! answer boldly,
“While I breathe I pray!”
Peace shall follow battle,
Night shall end in day.

“Well I know thy trouble,
O my servant true;
Thou art very weary—
I was weary too;
But that toil shall make thee
Some day all mine own,
And the end of sorrow
Shall be near my throne.”

Words: Andrew of Crete, 660-732 (Tr. by John M. Neale, 1818-1866, alt.)

First tune: St. Andrew of Crete. 6.5.6.5 D. (John By. Dykes, 1823-1876)

Second tune: Greek Hymn 6.5.6.5.D (Joseph P. Holbrook, 1822-1888)

3 comments:

  1. I looked for the Dykes tune in the Celebration Hymnal and although he has five tunes (all good and familiar as we sang them in the Episcopal church when I was growing up), the St. Andrew was not one of them. There were no Holbrook tunes in that hymnal, so I'll just have to look for those tunes in the hymnals we have at home (I'm at Edith's). Anyway, great words and it'll be fun to sing them to both tunes, if I can find them. Where'd you find those words?

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  2. The words (and music) were actually in Edith's hymnal, so they're closer than you thought.

    Source: p. 275 in the Methodist Hymnal (at Edith’s house) © 1932, 1935, 1939 by The Methodist Book Concern, Whitmore & Smith, Nashville, TN. (The board of publication of the Methodist Protestant Church)

    However, I did not like the tune it was set to (in fact, I rather disliked it), so I said to myself that I wouldn't learn it, intending to have a fresh, un-influenced mind to compose my own tune. So far I haven't written any music for it...just one of those back-burner projects that will get done someday. But it doesn't prevent one from delighting in the message of the words.

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  3. And as a side note, this could be sung to the tune of "Onward, Christian Soldiers" if you wanted an easy way to sing it.

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