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1. Jesus, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see
And in thy presence rest.
2. Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the mem’ry find
A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
O Savior of mankind!
3. O hope of ev’ry contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind thou art!
How good to those who seek!
4. Jesus, our only joy be thou,
As thou our prize wilt be;
Jesus, be thou our glory now,
And thru eternity.
Text: Attr. to Bernard of Clairvaux, ca. 1091-1153; trans. by Edward Caswall, 1814-1878
Music: John B. Dykes, 1823-1876
-History: (Source: Wikipedia)
Written By: trans. Edward Caswall, Attr. to Bernard of Clairvaux
He was born at Yateley, Hampshire, July 15, 1814 son of Rev. R. C. Caswall, sometime Vicar of Yately, Hampshire. He died at the Oratory,Edgbaston, near Birmingham, January 2, 1878 and was buried at Rednal, near Bromsgrove.
Caswall studied at Brasenose College, Oxford (B.A., 1836; M.A., 1838). He graduated in 1836 with honors. He was curate of Stratford-sub-Castle, near Salisbury, 1840–47. In 1850, his wife having died the previous year, he joined the Oratory of St. Philip Neri under Newman, to whose influence his conversion to Roman Catholicism was due.
He wrote original poems that have mainly survived only in Catholic hymnals due to a clear adherence to Catholic doctrine. Caswell is best known for his translations from the Roman Breviary and other Latin sources, which are marked by faithfulness to the original and purity of rhythm. They were published in Lyra Catholica, containing all the breviary and missal hymns (London, 1849); The Masque of Mary (1858); and A May Pageant(1865). Hymns and Prose (1873) are the three books combined with many of the hymns rewritten or revised.
After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d’Absinthe, about 15 km southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux. There Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary. In the year 1128, Bernard assisted at the Council of Troyes, at which he traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar, who soon became the ideal of Christian nobility.
On the death of Pope Honorius II a schism broke out in the Church. Louis VI of France convened a national council of the French bishops at Étampes, and Bernard was chosen to judge between the rivals for pope. In 1139, Bernard assisted at the Second Council of the Lateran. Bernard denounced the teachings of Peter Abelard to the Pope, who called a council at Sens in 1141 to settle the matter. Bernard soon saw one of his disciples, Bernard of Pisa, elected Pope. Having previously helped end the schism within the Church, Bernard was now called upon to combat heresy. In June 1145, Bernard traveled in Southern France and his preaching there helped strengthen support against heresy.
Following the Christian defeat at the Siege of Edessa, the Pope commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade. The last years of Bernard’s life were saddened by the failure of the crusaders, the entire responsibility for which was thrown upon him. Bernard died at age 63, after 40 years spent in the cloister. He was the first Cistercian monk placed on the calendar of saints, and was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. Pope Pius VIII bestowed upon him the title “Doctor of the Church“.
Music By: John B. Dykes
He was born in Hull, England, the fifth child and third son of William Hey Dykes and his wife Elizabeth Dykes (née Huntington), and a younger brother of the poet and hymnist Eliza Alderson. By the age of 10, he was the assistant organist at St John’s Church in Drypool, Hull, where his grandfather, the Rev. Thomas Dykes, was vicar. He learned the violin and the piano. He studied at Wakefield and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, earning a BA in Classics in 1847. He cofounded the Cambridge University Musical Society. He was ordained as curate ofMalton in 1847. For a short time, he was canon of Durham Cathedral, then precentor (1849 – 1862). In 1862 he became vicar of St. Oswald’s, Durham, until his death in 1876.
He published numerous sermons and articles on religion; however, he is best known for over 300 hymn tunes he composed. Among those still in wide use are: Nicaea, commonly sung to the words “Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!“; Wir Pflügen, harmonised by Dykes and commonly sung to the words “We plough the fields, and scatter” (a translation of the German hymn “Wir pflügen und wir streuen” by the late eighteenth-century German poet Matthias Claudius); Melita, sung to the words “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” (sometimes known as “For those in peril on the sea” from its recurring last line); Gerontius, sung to the words “Praise to the Holiest in the height” (taken from Cardinal Newman‘s poem The Dream of Gerontius); O Perfect Love; and Dominus Regit Me, sung to the words “The King of love my shepherd is”, one of the many metrical versions of Psalm 23.
Dykes resolutely upheld the high church tradition, to the consternation of his bishop, and was something of a renegade figure in the Victorian Church. He was a member of the Society of the Holy Cross. Dykes died in Sussex at age 52, and is buried at St. Oswald’s, Durham.
He was enormously influential in hymnody in his time, but this has declined in recent times, evidenced by the fact that, whereas Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised (1950) carried 31 of his tunes, the New Standard edition of the same hymn book (1983) used only 15.