A Poor Brother's Hymnal
Thursday, May 31, 2007
  Alone with None but Thee My God
Alone with none but thee, my God,
I journey on my way.
What need I fear when thou art near,
O King of night and day?
More safe am I within thy hand
than if a host should round me stand.

My destined time is known to thee,
and death will keep his hour;
did warriors strong around me throng,
they could not stay his power:
no walls of stone can man defend
when thou thy messenger dost send.

My life I yield to thy decree,
and bow to thy control
in peaceful calm, for from thine arm
no power can wrest my soul.
Could earthly omens e'er appal
a man that heeds the heavenly call?

The child of God can fear no ill,
his chosen dread no foe;
we leave our fate with thee, and wait
thy bidding when to go.
'Tis not from chance our comfort springs.
thou art our trust, O King of kings.

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  Be Thou My Vision
“When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal Myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.” Numbers 12:6

Words: At­trib­ut­ed to Dal­lan For­gaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry (Rob tu mo bhoile, a Com­di cri­de); trans­lat­ed from an­cient Ir­ish to Eng­lish by Ma­ry E. Byrne, in “Eriú,” Jour­nal of the School of Ir­ish Learn­ing, 1905, and versed by El­ea­nor H. Hull, 1912, alt.

Music: Slane, of Ir­ish folk or­i­gin (MI­DI, score). Slane Hill is about ten miles from Ta­ra in Coun­ty Meath. It was on Slane Hill around 433 AD that St. Pat­rick de­fied a roy­al edict by light­ing can­dles on East­er Eve. High King Lo­gaire of Ta­ra had de­creed that no one could light a fire be­fore Lo­gaire be­gan the pa­gan spring fes­ti­val by light­ing a fire on Ta­ra Hill. Lo­gaire was so im­pressed by Pat­rick’s de­vo­tion that, de­spite his de­fi­ance (or per­haps be­cause of it­), he let him con­tin­ue his mis­sion­ary work. The rest is his­to­ry.




Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

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  God Be in my Head
God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.

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  Child in the Manger
“She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger.” Luke 2:7


The Nativity, by Uccello
Words: Ma­ry M. Mac­don­ald (1789-1872); trans­lat­ed from Gael­ic to Eng­lish by Lach­lan Mac­bean in Songs and Hymns of the Gael (Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land: 1888).

Music: Bun­es­san, tra­di­tion­al Gael­ic mel­o­dy (MI­DI, score).


Child in the manger, Infant of Mary,
Outcast and Stranger, Lord of all,
Child Who inherits all our transgressions,
All our demerits on Him fall.

Once the most holy Child of salvation
Gently and lowly lived below.
Now as our glorious mighty Redeemer,
See Him victorious o’er each foe.

Prophets foretold Him, Infant of wonder;
Angels behold Him on His throne.
Worthy our Savior of all our praises;
Happy forever are His own.

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  St. Patrick's Lorica
This hymn was composed by St. Patrick in a time of great danger. It is called the "Deer's Cry" because, according to legend, Patrick and his companions turned into deer and escaped danger. It is also called the "Lorica" which is Latin for "Breastplate." Here are several translations of the hymn:

To the tune of Bunessan or Morning Has Broken:
Rising I thank You, mighty and strong One
King of Creation, giver of rest.
Firmly confessing threeness of Persons
Oneness of Godhead, Trinity blest.

This day God gives me strength of high heaven
Sun and moon shining, flame in my hearth
Flashing of lightning, wind in its swiftness
Deeps of the ocean, firmness of earth.

This day God sends me Strength as my guardian
Might to uphold me, Wisdome as guide.
Your eyes are watchful, Your ears are listening
Your lips are speaking, Friend at my side.

God's way is my way, God's shield is round me
God's host defends me, saving from ill.
Angels of heaven drive from me always
All that would harm me, stand at my side.

Christ be beside me, Christ be before me.
Christ be behind me King of my heart.
Christ be within me, Christ be below me.
Christ be above me Never to part.

Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand.
Christ all around me Shield in the strife.
Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting.
Christ in my rising Light of my life.

Christ be in all hearts Thinking about me.
Christ be on all tongues Telling of me.
Christ be the vision In eyes that see me,
In ears that hear me Christ ever be.

Rising I thank You, mighty and strong One
King of Creation, giver of rest.
Firmly confessing threeness of Persons
Oneness of Godhead, Trinity blest.
The version found in most hymnals, can be sung to most office tunes such as Conditor Alme Siderum:
I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
the Three-in-One, and One-in-Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
His baptism in the River Jordan;
His death on the Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spiced tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of the Cherubim;
The sweet "Well Done" in judgment hour:
The service of the Seraphim;
Confessor's faith, Apostles' word;
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls;
All good deeds done unto the Lord.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven;
The glorious suns' life-giving ray;
The whiteness of the moon at even;
The flashing of the lightning free;
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks;
The stable earth; the deep salt sea.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead;
His eye to watch, His might to stay;
The wisdom of my God to teach;
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The Word of God to give me speech;
His heavenly host to be my guard;

Against the demon snares of sin;
The vice that gives temptation force
The natural lusts that war within;
The hostile men that mar my course;
Few or many, far or nigh;
In every place and in all hours;
Against their fierce hostility.
I bind to me these holy powers

Against all Satan's spells and wiles;
Against false words of heresy;
Against the knowledge that defiles;
Against the heart's idolatry;
Against the wizard's evil craft;
Against the death-wound and the burning;
The choking wave and poisoned shaft;
Protect me, Christ, til thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me;
Christ beside me, Christ before me;
Christ beside me, Christ to win me;
Christ to comfort and restore me;
Christ beneath me, Christ above me;
Christ in Quiet, Christ in danger;
Christ in hearts of all that love me;
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same,
the Three-in-One, and One-in-Three;
Of whom all nature hath creation;
Eternal Father, Word, and Spirit.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation.
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
Two more verses not usually found with the original:
I call upon the noble earth
To give me strength both day and night
Her granite and her gems of worth
Are tokens of her various might
And from her shores the endless sea
In calm and tempest girds the sphere
And like the earth, the waters free
Shall be my trust against all fear

Above the earth and waters wide
The air enfolds the globe's fair breast
In it good spirits do abide,
I count on them in strife and rest
And last of all, the golden fire
Shall be my great and strong ally
The goodly spirits that never tire
Are all my strength below, on high
A slightly modified version found in Madeline L'Engle's A Swiftly Tilting Planet:
With St. Patrick, in this fateful hour
I call on heaven with all heaven with its power,
The sun with its brightness,
The snow with its whiteness,
The fire with all the strength it hath,
The lightning with its rapid wrath,
The winds with their swiftness along their path,
The sea with its deepness,
The rocks with its starkness,
All these I place,
By God's almighty help and grace,
Between myself and the powers of darkness.
Marty Haugen's translation:
May the Spirit of Christ be our hope through the day
Be our guard through the night, our companion on the way.

Christ be ever before us,
Christ be ever behind us,
Christ be ever within.

Christ on our left hand watching,
At our right hand guiding,
Christ above, beneath us guarding,
Near to us abiding.

Christ be in each holy silence,
Christ be in our speaking,
Christ in ev'ry work we offer,
Ever in our seeking.

Let us be God's light in the darkness,
let us be God's kindness;
Let us be God's justice and mercy,
Hands and feet of Christ.

God Creator, bless and keep us,
Christ, be ever near us;
Spirit be the light before us,
Gentle be our pathway.
John Michael Talbot's version from the album "Hiding Place":
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me;
Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me on my left and my right.

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Friday, May 18, 2007
  Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid
“If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” Mark 11:23

Henry Carey (1687-1743)

Words: At­trib­ut­ed var­i­ous­ly to Char­le­magne, Am­brose of Mi­lan, Gre­go­ry I, and Rha­ban­us Maur­us (Ve­ni Cre­at­or Spir­it­us, Men­tes tu­or­um vi­si­ta); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John Dry­den, Mis­cel­la­ne­ous Po­ems, 1693.

Music: Car­ey’s Sur­rey, Hen­ry Car­ey, cir­ca 1732; har­mo­ny from The Eng­lish Hymn­al (Lon­don: Ox­ford Un­i­ver­si­ty Press, 1906), num­ber 491 (MI­DI, score).


John Dryden (1631-1700)

Creator Spirit, by Whose aid
The world’s foundations first were laid,
Come, visit every pious mind;
Come, pour Thy joys on human kind;
From sin, and sorrow set us free;
And make Thy temples worthy Thee.

O Source of uncreated Light,
The Father’s promised Paraclete!
Thrice holy Fount, thrice holy Fire,
Our hearts with heav’nly love inspire;
Come, and Thy sacred unction bring
To sanctify us, while we sing!

Plenteous of grace, descend from high,
Thou strength of His almighty hand,
Whose pow’r does Heav’n and earth command:
Proceeding Spirit, our Defense,
Who dost the gift of tongues dispense,
And crown’st Thy gift with eloquence!

Refine and purge our earthly parts;
But, oh, inflame and fire our hearts!
Our frailties help, our vice control;
Submit the senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown,
Then, lay Thy hand, and hold them down.

Create all new; our wills control,
Subdue the rebel in our soul;
Make us eternal truths receive,
And practice all that we believe;
Give us Thyself, that we may see
The Father and the Son by Thee.

Immortal honor, endless fame,
Attend th’almighty Father’s Name:
The Savior Son be glorified,
Who for lost man’s redemption died:
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Paraclete, to Thee.

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  Holy Spirit, Font of Light
Holy Spirit, font of light,
focus of God's glory bright,
shed on us a shining ray.

Father of the fatherless,
giver of gifts limitless,
come and touch our hearts today.

Source of strength and sure relief,
Comforter in time of grief,
enter in and be our guest.

On our journey grant us aid,
freshening breeze and cooling shade,
in our labor inward rest.

Enter each aspiriting heart,
occupy its inmost part
with Your dazzling purity.

All that gives to us our worth,
all that benefits the earth,
You bring to maturity.

With your soft, refreshing rains
break our drought, remove our stains;
bind up all our injuries.

Shake with rushing wind our will;
melt with fire our icy chill;
bright to light our perjuries.

As your promise we believe,
make us ready to receive
gifts from your unbounded store.

Grant enabling energy,
courage in adversity,
joys that last forevermore.

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  Come, Thou Holy Spirit Bright
Come, thou Holy Spirit Bright;
come with Thy celestial light;
pour on us thy love divine.

Come, Protector of the poor;
Come, thou source of blessing sure;
Come within our hearts to shine.

Thou of comforters the best,
Thou, the sou's most welcome guest,
Of our peace thou art the sign.

In our labor, be our aid;
In our Summer, cooling shade.
Every bitter tear refine.

Brighter than the noonday sun,
fill our lives which Christ has won;
fill our hearts and make them Thine.

Where Thou art not, we have nought.
All our word and deed and though
twisted from Thy true design.

Bend the stubborn heart and will.
Melt the frozen, warm the chill.
Rule us by Thy judgment's line.

Cleanse us with Thy healing power.
What is barren bring to flower.
To Thy love our sins consign.

To Thy people who adore
and confess Thee evermore,
Thy blest sevenfold gift assign.

Frant us thy salvation, Lord,
boundless mercy our reward,
joys which earth and heaven entwine.

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  Hail this Joyful Day's Return
Hail this joyful day's return,
hail the Pentecostal morn,
morn when our ascended Lord
on his Church his Spirit poured! Alleluia!

Like to clove tongues of flame
on the twelve the Spirit came--
tongues, that earth may hear their call,
fire, that love may burn in all. Alleluia!

Lord, to you your people bend;
unto us your Spirit send;
blessings of this sacred day
grant us, dearest Lord, we pray. Alleluia!

You who did our forebears guide,
with their children still abide;
grant us pardon, grant us peace,
till our earthly wanderings cease. Alleluia!

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  Hail this Joyful Day's Return
Hail this joyful day's return,
hail the Pentecostal morn,
morn when our ascended Lord
on his Church his Spirit poured! Alleluia!

Like to clove tongues of flame
on the twelve the Spirit came--
tongues, that earth may hear their call,
fire, that love may burn in all. Alleluia!

Lord, to you your people bend;
unto us your Spirit send;
blessings of this sacred day
grant us, dearest Lord, we pray. Alleluia!

You who did our forebears guide,
with their children still abide;
grant us pardon, grant us peace,
till our earthly wanderings cease. Alleluia!

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  O Lord Most High, Eternal King (2 translations)
“All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth.” Matthew 28:18

John M. Neale (1818-1866)

Words: Un­known au­thor (Würz­burg, Ger­ma­ny: 13th Cen­tu­ry) (Ae­ter­ne Rex al­tiss­i­me, Re­demp­tor); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale, in the Hymn­al Not­ed, 1852 (Etern­al Mon­arch, King Most High); mod­i­fied in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1861.

Music: East­wick, Thom­as T. No­ble, in Al­ter­na­tive Hymn Tunes, 1902 (MI­DI, score).


Thomas T. Noble (1867-1953)

O Lord most high, eternal King,
By Thee redeemed Thy praise we sing;
The bonds of death are burst by Thee,
And grace has won the victory.

Ascending to the Father’s throne
Thou claim’st the kingdom as Thine own;
Thy days of mortal weakness o’er
All power is Thine forevermore.

To Thee the whole creation now
Shall, in its threefold order, bow,
Of things on earth, and things on high,
And things that underneath us lie.

In awe and wonder angels see
How changed is man’s estate by Thee,
How flesh makes pure as flesh did stain,
And Thou, true God, in flesh dost reign.

Be Thou our Joy, O mighty Lord,
As Thou wilt be our great Reward;
Let all our glory be in Thee
Both now and through eternity.

All praise from every heart and tongue
To Thee, ascended Lord, be sung;
All praise to God the Father be
And Holy Ghost eternally.

  1. Æterne Rex altissime,
    Redemptor et fidelium,
    Cui mors perempta detulti
    Summæ triumphum gloriæ.
  2. Ascendis orbes siderum,
    Quo te vocabat cœlitus
    Collata, non humantius,
    Rerum potestas omnium.
  3. Ut trina rerum machina,
    Cœlestium, terrestrium,
    Et inferorum condita,
    Flectat genu jam subdita.
  4. Tremunt videntes Angeli
    Versam vicem mortalium:
    Peccat caro, mundat caro,
    Regnat Deus Dei caro.
  5. Sis ipse nostrum gaudium,
    Manens olympo præmium,
    Mundi regis qui fabricam,
    Mundana vincens gaudia.
  6. Hinc te precantes quæsumus,
    Ignosce culpis omnibus,
    Et corda sursum subleva
    Ad te superna gratia.
  7. Ut cum repente cœperis
    Clarere nube judicis,
    Pœnas repellas debitas,
    Reddas coronas perditas.
  8. Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
    Qui victor in cœlum redis,
    Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu,
    In sempiterna sæcula.
  1. Eternal Monarch, King most High,
    Whose Blood hath brought redemption nigh,
    By whom the death of Death was wrought,
    And conquering grace’s battle fought:
  2. Ascending by the starry road,
    This day Thou wentest home to God,
    By Heaven to power unending called,
    And by no human hand installed.
  3. That so, in nature’s triple frame,
    Each heavenly and each earthly name,
    And things in hell’s abyss abhorred,
    May bend the knee and own Him Lord.
  4. Yes, Angels tremble when they see
    How changed is our humanity;
    That Flesh hath purged what flesh had stained,
    And God, the flesh of God, hath reigned.
  5. Be Thou our joy, O might Lord,
    As Thou wilt be our great reward;
    Earth’s joys to Thee are nothing worth,
    Thou joy and crown of heaven and earth.
  6. To Thee we therefore humbly pray
    That Thou wouldst purge our sins away,
    And draw our hearts by cords of grace
    To Thy celestial dwelling-place.
  7. So when the Judgment day shall come,
    And all must rise to meet their doom,
    Thou wilt remit the debts we owe,
    And our lost crowns again bestow.
  8. All glory, Lord, to Thee we pay,
    Ascending o’er the stars to-day;
    All glory, as is ever meet;
    To Father and to Paraclete.
Author: Ambrosian, 5th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by J. M. Neale and others. There are fifteen translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Matins from Ascension to Pentecost.

  1. “O eternal and sovereign King, and Redeemer of the faithful, to whom the annihilation of death brought a triumph of the greatest glory:”
  2. “Thou didst ascend above the orbits of the stars, whither the sovereignty over all things summoned Thee, which sovereignty was given Thee from heaven, not by men.” Cœlitus, adv. from above, by the Father. Data est mihi omnis potestas in cœlo et in terra (Matt. 28, 18).
  3. “So that the threefold fabric of the universe, creatures (condita) of heaven, of earth, and of hell, may now in submission bend the knee to Thee.” Condita = creata. Machina, order structure, fabric, kingdom. Ut in nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur cœlestium, terrestrium, et infernorum (Phil. 2, 10).
  4. “The Angels tremble, beholding the altered lot of mortals: flesh sinned, Flesh cleanses from sin, the God-Man reigns as God.” Dei caro: lit., “the flesh of God reigns as God.” Vicem, lot, estate, condition; versam, changed, reversed.
  5. “Be Thou Thyself our joy, our abiding reward in heaven, Thou who, surpassing all earthly joys, dost rule over the fabric of the universe.”
  6. “Therefore, praying we beseech Thee, pardon all our sins, and by Thy heavenly grace raise aloft our hearts to Thee.”
  7. “That when Thou dost unexpectedly begin to shine in splendor on a cloud as judge, Thou mayest remit the punishments due, and restore our lost crowns.” Et tunc videbunt Filium hominis venientem in nube cum potestate magna, et majestate (Luke 21, 27).

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  A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing
A hymn of glory let us sing,
new hymns throughout the world shall ring;
by a new way none ever trod
Christ takes his place--the throne of God!

You are a present joy, O Lord;
you will be ever our reward;
and great the light in you we see
to guide us to eternity.

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
all praise to you let earth accord,
who are, while endless ages run,
with Father and with Spirit, One.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007
  Earth Was Waiting
Am E7 / C Dm E7 x2
A Dm Am G / Am Dm E7 Am

Earth was waiting, spent and restless,
with a mingled hope and fear,
faithful men and women praying,
"Surely, Lord, the day is near:
the Desire of all the nations--
it is time he should appear!"

Then the Spirit of the Highest
to a Virgin meek came down,
and he burdened her with blessing,
and he pained her with renown;
for she bore the Lord's Anointed
for his cross and for his crown.

Earth has groaned and labored for him
since the ages first began,
for in him was hid the secret
which through all the ages ran--
Son of Mary, Son of David,
Son of God, and Son of Man.

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Monday, May 14, 2007
  When Twilight Comes
Em Am Em / C Em Am Em Am B / G Am Em / Am B7 Em
Am Dm Am / F Am Dm Am Dm E / C Dm Am / Dm E7 Am

When twilight comes and the sun sets,
mother hen prepares for night's rest.
As her brood shelters under her wings
she gives the love of God to her nest.

Oh! what joy to feel her warm heartbeat
and be near her all night long;
so the young can find repose,
then renew tomorrow's song.

One day the Rabbi, Lord Jesus
Called the twelve to share His last meal
As the hend tends her young
So for them He spent Himself to seek and to heal

Oh what joy to be with Christ Jesus,
Hear His voice, o sheer delight!
And receive His servant care
all before the coming night.

Em Am Em / C Em Am Em Am B / G Am Em / Am B7 Em

So gather 'round once again, friends,
Touched by fading glow of sun's gold
And recount all our frail human hopes
The dreams of young and stories of old.

O what joy to pray close together,
kneeling as one family
By a Mother's love embraced,
In the blessed Trinity.


Em Am Em / C Em Am Em Am B / G Am Em / Am B7 Em

Am Dm Am / F Am Dm Am Dm E / C Dm Am / Dm E7 Am

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All my favorite hymns. Most of them are from before the Reformation.

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