Friday, September 19, 2008

Therefore Give Us Love

Recently we've seen some psalm paraphrases, the poetry that much of our familiar hymnody is based on. Other parts of scripture were often turned into verse in order to be sung, such as this hymn which comes from the well-known 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.

Love is kind, and suffers long,
Love is meek, and thinks no wrong,
Love than death itself more strong;
Therefore, give us love.

Prophecy will fade away,
Melting in the light of day,
Love will always with us stay;
Therefore, give us love.

Faith will vanish into sight;
Hope be emptied in delight;
Love in heav'n will shine more bright;
Therefore, give us love.

Faith and hope and love we see
Joining hand in hand agree;
But the greatest of the three,
And the best, is love.

Christopher Wordsworth, 1862
Clement C. Scholefield, 1874

These verses are from a longer Pentecost hymn in eight verses by Christopher Wordsworth, but some hymnals give these four verses alone (the others do not all derive from the Corinthians passage). Simple and to the point.

Clement Cotterill Scholefield was a clergyman who wrote a few hymn tunes, most of which were included in Church Hymns With Tunes (1874), which was edited by his friend Arthur Sullivan.

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