Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Song of Them That Feast

Conjubilant With Song is one year old. The first post was on Wednesday, January 23, 2008, and talked a bit about where the blog name comes from, but I've never presented the whole hymn, which is a favorite of mine. By an odd coincidence that I didn't notice at the time, today is John Mason Neale's birthday, the translator of this hymn.

Jerusalem the golden,
With milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation
Sink heart and voice oppressed.
I know not, O, I know not,
What joys await us there,
What radiancy of glory,
What bliss beyond compare.

They stand, those halls of Zion,
Conjubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel,
And all the martyr throng;
The Savior, ever in them,
The daylight is serene.
The pastures of the blessèd
Are decked in glorious sheen.

There is the throne of David,
And there, from care released,
The shout of them that triumph,
The song of them that feast;
And they, who with their Leader,
Have conquered in the fight,
Forever and forever
Are clad in robes of light.

O sweet and blessèd country,
The home of God’s elect!
O sweet and blessèd country,
That eager hearts expect!
O Christ, in mercy bring us
To that dear land of rest,
Who art, with our Creator,
And Spirit, ever blest.

Bernard of Morlaix, 1146;
tr. John Mason Neale, 1858; alt.
Tune: EWING (
Alexander Ewing, 1853

This seems to be the only hymn tune by Alexander Ewing, a bit surprising because I think it's quite a good one. The tune was originally slightly different rhythmically (and originally called ST. BEDE), and was altered to its present form by the editors of Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861. Unfortunately, Ewing was not happy with the changes, believing that it now sounded like a polka.

Anyway, there's much more to come here at CWS. Most of the hymnwriters and composers we've encountered have more good material to present, and I'm always adding more birthdays and anniversaries to the calendar.


Adam said...

Congrats on the anniversary! Your blog is now a happy daily stop for me, and I always find some new gem here. Keep up the good work.

Dorothy said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary, C.W.S.! Your blog has become one of my favorites.

By the way, I love this hymn too but I'm a much more recent fan than you. The first time I saw it was on your blog a number of months ago.

Leland Bryant Ross said...

Ditto what they said. It's the most consistently interesting hymnblog from the point of view of meeting previously unnoticed, worthwhile hymns and hymnists that I know of.

Leland aka Haruo

C.W.S. said...

Thanks for the nice comments. There are weeks when I think I've drifted too far toward the obscure, but there are still plenty of familiar hymns we haven't gotten to yet.

AuntE said...

Obscure is okay! How else are we going to be introduced to something we don't already know? There are so many good hymns out there; I'm convinced we'll never know them all this side of heaven.

C.W.S. said...

Oh, dear. I'm not sure you should be giving me permission to be obscure!

Who knows where we might end up?