October 11, 2013

The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended

The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended is by the Anglican clergyman and hymn-writer, John Ellerton (1826-1893). It was first published in 1870 as part of the collection, A Liturgy for Missionary Meetings. In 1897 the hymn was chosen by Queen Victoria (1819-1901) to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. It is set to the tune, St. Clement by the Anglican clergyman and musician, Clement C. Scholefield (1839-1904). First published in 1874 as part of the Arthur Sullivan edited hymnal, Church Hymns with Tunes; it was composed specifically for Ellerton's text. It has been suggested by some music historians, that Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) may have collaborated with Scholefield on the tune. In the Divine Office, The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended is used with Evening Prayer.

Tune: St. Clement

THE DAY THOU GAVEST, LORD, IS ENDED by John Ellerton, 1870 (Public Domain)

1. The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall hallow now our rest.

2. We thank Thee that Thy Church unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

3. As o'er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

4. The sun, that bids us rest, is waking
Our brethren 'neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

5. So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth's proud empires, pass away:
But stand, and rule, and grow for ever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

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