Dear Lord and Father of mankind


Aled Jones, writes:

This has to be one of the most beautiful hymns anywhere in the world. Hearing it always takes me back to Friday-night rehearsals at Bangor Cathedral when I was a choirboy, scared of getting anything wrong! Its tune was written by the Englishman C Hubert H Parry (1848-1918), who also composed Jerusalem. The hymn was adapted from a poem by the Quaker John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92), about the drinking of soma, a healing potion drunk by Vedic priests thousands of years ago. The words and music just go together perfectly.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways!
Re-clothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise;
in deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word,
rise up and follow thee;
rise up and follow thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity
interpreted by love!
interpreted by love!

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace;
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm;
O still, small voice of calm.

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