November 25, 2012

As with Gladness Men of Old

As with joyful steps they sped.

As with Gladness Men of Old was written by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898). It was composed on the 6th of January 1859, while confined to bed, convalescing from a serious illness. It would be later included in his self-published collection: Hymns of Love and Joy (1867). It is sung to the tune: Dix, an adaption by William Henry Monk (1823-1889) of the chorale, Treuer Heiland, Wir Sind Heir (1838) by German composer Conrad Kocher (1786-1872). In the Liturgy of the Hours, As with Gladness Men of Old is used on the Solemnity of the Epiphany.

AS WITH GLADNESS, MEN OF OLD by W.C. Dix, 1859 (Public Domain)

 1. As with gladness men of old
did the guiding star behold;
as with joy they hailed its light,
leading onward, beaming bright;
so, most gracious Lord, may we
evermore be led to thee.

2. As with joyful steps they sped,
Savior, to thy lowly bed,
there to bend the knee before thee,
whom heaven and earth adore;
so may we with willing feet
ever seek thy mercy seat.

3. As they offered gifts most rare
at thy manger, rude and bare,
so may we with holy joy,
pure and free from sin’s alloy,
all our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to thee, our heavenly king.

4. Holy Jesus, every day
keep us in the narrow way;
and when earthly things are past,
bring our ransomed souls at last
where they need no star to guide,
where no clouds thy glory hide.

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