Monday, December 28, 2009

Love's Treasure Bringing (Day Four)

Many "forgotten" Christmas songs have been written over the years for children. Sunday School hymnals and songbooks were big sellers in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, and nearly all of them include sections for Christmas, combining familiar carols and new selections, often written especially for that book. I'd guess that the great majority of those new selections never made it into another collection.

Today's song was written by
Eliza Hewitt, who wrote and composed dozens, if not hundreds of gospel songs and Sunday School songs, most of which we no longer sing. Composer E.G. Snelling is even more obscure, it seems. It appeared in Sunday School Hymns No. 1 (1903), one of whose editors was Grant Colfax Tullar. Checking a few later Sunday School songbooks published by Tullar's company, this song appears in neither The Bible School Hymnal (1908) nor Sunday School Melodies (1914).

Peaceful the wondrous night,
Peaceful and holy,
Under the silv’ry light,
Gleaming afar.
Faithfully watching there,
Shepherds so lowly,
Over the hills so fair,
Saw glory’s star.

Refrain
Hail to the starry night,
Sparkling with glory;
Angels on wings of light,
Thronging the sky.
Hail to that starry night!
Wondrous its story:
Jesus, the Lord of Light,
Came from above.


Come with that shepherd band,
Come to the manger;
Join in the chorus grand,
Glory to God!
Worship the holy Child,
Wonderful Stranger,
Give to the Undefiled,
Glory and laud.
Refrain

Sweet favor, thus to bow,
Love’s treasure bringing,
Gratefully yielding now,
Life’s joyful praise.
Hear from the heav’nly height,
Glad echoes ringing,
Blessing and pow’r and might,
Through endless days.
Refrain

Eliza E. Hewitt, 1903
Tune:
WONDROUS NIGHT (6.5.6.4.D. with refrain)
E.G. Snelling, 1903



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