Wednesday, September 7, 2016

203. Lightening Hymn

This little ditty occupied me during a segment of sleepless night. It is purposely set in an unusual meter because I was writing it to fit an existing tune, INHERITANCE (see below), which in turn I wrote in 2014 to fit an existing poem, a two-stanza "Inheritance Hymn" I wrote around 1993. I am conscious that the tune owes a debt to Grieg, and that the poem sounds atrocious when read aloud, without the music to go with it. So much for metrical experiments.

"Lightening" Hymn

Light of the world and Author of light,
Image of God in glory bright,
Lighten the darkness, scatter the night
Wherein Your people stumble;
Spirits of blindness put to flight,
Lest in the pit we should tumble!

Once manifest in garments of light,
Christ, clothe us too in gleaming white
When, in Your Father's all-holy sight
We be in You presented;
Lighten our stains, absorb our blight;
Pleasantly let us be scented!

Master, whose yoke is easy and light,
Lift up our burdens with Your might!
Lighten our load, if You deem it right,
Lest we grow faint and falter;
Nor let this tribulation slight
Our loving faithfulness alter!

Way, Truth, and Life, so lighten our way
That we walk as becomes the day!
Dwell in us, working God's works, we pray,
Till, in Your likeness glowing,
We give our neighbor cause to say
Whose life through us is flowing!

Christ, in whose presence life is, and light,
Lighten our hearts of dread and fright!
Send from Your throne's ineffable height
Comfort and perfect clearness;
With holy food nerve us to fight,
Trusting the pledge of Your nearness!

Healer, whose touch restores health and sight,
Lighten our eyes, by hope made bright!
Thus our whole body, filling with light
By faith and hope assuring,
May pass through straits however tight,
Every affliction enduring.

Finally, Lord, across heaven flash
With trumpet-blast and thunder-crash;
Of Satan's work burn even the ash
When all the skies You lighten!
Then lead us forth in triumph brash,
Your new creation to brighten!

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