Birds in Christmas Hymns – The Day The Christ-Child’s Tender Eyes

Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) in nest by Peter Ericsson

Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) in nest by Peter Ericsson

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11 KJV)

Words by May R. Smith (1842-1927).

Music: St. Pe­ters­burg, at­trib­ut­ed to Dmi­tri S. Bort­ni­an­sky (1751-1825), 1825

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

The Day The Christ-Child’s Tender Eyes

The day the Christ-child’s tender eyes
Unveiled their beauty on the earth,
God lit a new star in the skies
To flash the message of His birth;
And wise men read the glowing sign,
And came to greet the Child divine.

Low kneeling in the stable’s gloom,
Their precious treasures they unrolled;
The place was rich with sweet perfume;
Upon the floor lay gifts of gold.
And thus adoring they did bring
To Christ the earliest offering.

I think no nimbus wreathed the head
Of the young King so rudely throned;
The quilt of hay beneath Him spread
The sleepy kine beside Him owned;
And here and there in the torn thatch
The sky thrust in a starry patch.

Oh, when was new-born monarch shrined
Within such canopy as this?
The birds have cradles feather lined;
And for their new babes princesses
Have sheets of lace without a flaw,
His pillow was a wisp of straw!

He chose this way, it may have been,
That those poor mothers, everywhere,
Whose babies in the world’s great inn
Find scanty cradle-room and fare,
As did the Babe of Bethlehem,
May find somewhat to comfort them.

Mute Swan on Nest at Lake Morton

Mute Swan on Nest at Lake Morton by Dan

May Riley Smith (1842-1927) – Smith at­tend­ed the Tra­cey Fe­male In­sti­tute in Ro­ches­ter, and the Col­le­gi­ate In­sti­tute in Brock­port, New York. She mar­ried Al­bert Smith of Spring­field, Il­li­nois, in 1869; they were liv­ing in New York state in 1910. Her works in­clude:

The Gift of Gen­ti­ans, 1882
The Inn of Rest, 1888
Sometime and Other Po­ems, 1892

Dmi­tri S. Bort­ni­an­sky (1751-1825) – Bortniansky’s mu­sic­al ca­reer be­gan in the church choir. As a young man, he stu­died with Bal­das­sare Ga­lup­pi (il Bur­a­nel­lo) in St. Pe­ters­burg. In 1769, Bort­ni­an­sky fol­lowed Ga­lup­pi to Ita­ly (with the help of a sti­pend from Rus­sian Emp­ress Ca­ther­ine) to work in op­era. His pro­duct­ions in­clud­ed Cre­on­te (1776), Al­cide (1778), and Quin­to Fa­bio (1778). Af­ter re­turn­ing to Rus­sia, he be­came mas­ter of the court choir in St. Pe­ters­burg. In 1796, he was ap­point­ed di­rect­or of the czar’s court cha­pel and a coun­cilor of state. In ad­di­tion to his other du­ties, he com­posed li­tur­gi­cal mu­sic, and wrote op­er­as with French texts: La fête du seign­eur (1786), Le fau­con (1786), and Le fils-ri­val (1787). Af­ter his death, his work spread to Prus­sia, where his mu­sic ap­peared in Alt­preuß­ische Agen­de (Old Prus­sian Agen­da) in 1829. His tune St. Pe­ters­burg/Wells is a tra­di­tion­al clos­ing piece for the Groß­er Zap­fen­streich (cer­e­mon­i­al tat­too) in Ger­man mil­i­tary mu­sic.

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Birds in Christmas Hymns – Christmas Brings Joy To Every Heart

Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) babies ©©coracii

Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) babies ©©coracii

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NKJV)

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Words by Bern­hardt S. In­ge­mann (1789-1862), 1840 (Julen har bragt velsignet bud); trans­lat­ed from Dan­ish to Eng­lish by Ce­cil Cow­drey.

Music: Christ­mas Brings Joy, Christ­oph E. Weyse (1774-1842), 1841

Christmas Brings Joy To Every Heart

Christmas brings joy to every heart,
Sets old and young rejoicing,
What angels sang once to all on earth,
Oh, hear the children voicing.
Bright is the tree with lights aglow,
Like birds that perch together,
The child that holdeth Christmas dear
Shall keep these joys forever.

Joy comes to the all the world today,
To halls and cottage hasting,
Come, sparrow and dove, from roof tree tall,
And share our Christmas feasting.
Dance, little child, on mother’s knee,
The lovely day is dawning,
The road to paradise is found
The blessèd Christmas morning.

Once to this earth our Savior came,
An infant poor and lowly,
To open for us those gardens fair
Where dwell His angels holy.
Christmas joy He bringeth us,
The Christ child King of heaven,
“To every little child,” He saith,
“Shall angel wings be given.”

Emerald Dove by Birdway

Most information from The Cyber Hymnal

See ~ Christmas Gospel Presentation

More ~ Birds in Hymns

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Birds In Christmas Hymns – The Worcester Christmas Carol

White-browed Conebill (Conirostrum ferrugineiventre) ©WikiC

White-browed Conebill (Conirostrum ferrugineiventre) ©WikiC

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14 KJV)

Words & Music by Will­iam H. Ha­ver­gal (1793-1870), alt.

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

The Worcester Christmas Carol

How grand and how bright
That wonderful night,
When angels to Bethlehem came!
They burst forth like fires,
They struck their gold lyres,
And mingled their song with the flame.

The shepherds were mazed,
The pretty lambs gazed
At darkness thus turned into light:
No voice was there heard
From man, beast or bird,
So sudden and solemn the sight.

And then, when the sound reechoed around,
The hills and the dales all awoke:
The moon and the stars
Stopped their fiery cars,
And listened while Gabriel spoke:

I bring you, said he,
From the glorious Three,
Good tidings to gladden mankind;
The Savior is born,
But He lies forlorn
In a manger, as soon you will find.

At mention of this,
(The source of all bliss,)
The angels sang loudly and long;
The soared to the sky,
Beyond mortal eye,
But left us the words of their song:

All glory to God,
Who laid by His rod,
To smile on the world through His Son:
And peace be on earth,
For this wonderful birth
Wonderful conquests has won;

And good will to man,
Though his life’s a span,
And his thoughts so evil and wrong;
Then pray, Christians, pray;
But let Christmas day
Have your sweetest and holiest song.

Here are Ha­ver­gal’s orig­in­al lyr­ics for stan­zas where, due to ir­re­gu­lar­i­ties in me­ter, they do not ful­ly fit the mu­sic:

I bring you, said he,
From the glorious Three,
Good tidings to gladden mankind;
The Savior is born,
But He lies all forlorn
In a manger, as soon you will find.

All glory to God,
Who laid by His rod,
To smile on the world through His Son:
And peace be on earth,
For this wonderful birth
Most wonderful conquests has won;

And good will to man,
Though his life’s but a span,
And his thoughts so evil and wrong;
Then pray, Christians, pray;
But let Christmas day
Have your sweetest and holiest song.

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) by Kent Nickell

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) by Kent Nickell

Will­iam H. Ha­ver­gal (1793-1870) – The epitaph on Havergal’s white mar­ble tomb reads:

The Rev. William Henry Havergal, M.S.,
Vi­car of Shareshill and Hon. Canon of Worcester Ca­thed­ral.
Died at Leam­ing­ton, 19th Ap­ril 1870, aged 77.
Cur­ate 7, and Rec­tor 13 years, of this par­ish, 1822 to 1843.
A faith­ful min­is­ter in the Lord (Eph. Vi. 21).

Havergal was ed­u­cat­ed at Mer­chant Tay­lors School St. Ed­mund’s Hall, Ox­ford (BA 1815, MA 1819). He was or­dained a dea­con in 1816, and priest in 1817. He held three rec­to­rships: Ast­ley, Wor­ces­ter­shire (1829); St. Ni­cho­las, Wor­ces­ter (1842); and Shares­hill, near Wol­ver­hamp­tom (1860). Hymn­ist Franc­es Ha­ver­gal was his daug­hter.
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Birds In Christmas Hymns – The Friendly Beasts

Baudet Donkey - Shaky and Brown

Baudet Donkey – Shaky and Brown

So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7 NKJV)

Words: Un­known au­thor, 12th Cen­tu­ry; trans­lat­ed from French to Engl­ish by an anon­y­mous trans­lat­or.

Music: Or­i­ent­is Par­ti­bus, med­ie­val French mel­o­dy

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

The Friendly Beasts

Jesus, our Brother, strong and good,
Was humbly born in a stable rude,
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus, our Brother, strong and good.

“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried His mother uphill and down,
I carried His mother to Bethlehem town;
I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

“I,” said the cow, all white and red,
“I gave Him my manger for His bed,
I gave Him hay to pillow His head;
I,” said the cow, all white and red.

“I,” said the sheep with curly horn,
“I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm,
He wore my coat on Christmas morn;
I,” said the sheep with curly horn.

“I,” said the dove, from the rafters high,
“I cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry,
We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I;
I,” said the dove, from the rafters high.

Thus all the beasts, by some good spell,
In the stable dark were glad to tell
Of the gifts they gave Emmanuel,
The gifts they gave Emmanuel.

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Quy Tran

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Quy Tran

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Birds In Christmas Hymns – This Endris Night

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7 KJV)

Words & Music: 15th Century –  This Endris Night

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

This Endris Night

This endris night I saw a sight
A star as bright as day;
And ever among a maiden sung,
Lullay, by by, lullay.

This lovely lady sat and sung,
And to her Child did say:
My Son, my Brother, Father, dear,
Why liest Thou thus in hay?

My sweetest bird, thus ’tis required,
Though Thou be King veray;
But nevertheless I will not cease
To sing, By by, lullay.

The Child then spake in His talking,
And to his mother said:
“Yea, I am known as Heaven-King,
In crib though I be laid.

For angels bright down to Me light:
Thou knowest ’tis no nay:
And for that sight thou may’st delight
To sing, By by, lullay.

“Now, sweet Son, since Thou art a king,
Why art Thou laid in stall?
Why dost not order thy bedding
In some great kingès hall?

Methinks ’tis right that king or knight
Should lie in good array:
And then among, it were no wrong
To sing, By by, lullay.

“Mary mother, I am thy Child,
Though I be laid in stall;
For lords and dukes shall worship Me,
And so shall kingès all.

Ye shall well see that kingès three
Shall come on this twelfth day.
For this behest give Me thy breast
And sing, By by, lullay.

“Now tell, sweet Son, I Thee do pray,
Thou art my Love and Dear—
How should I keep Thee to Thy pay,
And make Thee glad of cheer?

For all Thy will I would fulfill—
Thou knowest well, in fay;
And for all this I will Thee kiss,
And sing, By by, lullay.

“My dear mother, when time it be,
Take thou Me up on loft,
And set Me then upon thy knee,
And handle me full soft.

And in thy arm thou hold Me warm,
And keep Me night and day,
And if I weep, and may not sleep,
Thou sing, By by, lullay.

“Now sweet Son, since it is come so,
That all is at Thy will,
I pray Thee grant to me a boon,
If it be right and skill,—

That child or man, who will or can
Be merry on my day,
To bliss Thou bring—and I shall sing,
Lullay, by by, lullay.

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Some of the archaic terms require explanation:
This endris night: The other night, a few nights ago
Veray: True
Light: Alight
No nay: Undeniable
Methinks: I think
Pay: Satisfaction
Fay: Faith
Boon: Favor
Skill: Reasonable

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Red Turtle Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica) by Nikhil Devasar

Red Turtle Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica) by Nikhil Devasar

More Birds in Hymns

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Christmas Gospel Presentation

Wordless Birds

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Birds In Christmas Hymns – Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) by Nikhil

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) by Nikhil

A Psalm for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. (Psalms 72:1-2 KJV)

Words by James Mont­gom­ery (1771-1854), 1821

[This hymn] is a me­tri­cal ver­sion of the Se­ven­ty-se­cond Psalm. It was writ­ten as a Christ­mas hymn and was first sung on Christ­mas Day, 1821, at a great con­vo­ca­tion of the Mo­ra­vi­ans in their set­tle­ment at Ful­neck. At a Wes­ley­an mis­sion­a­ry meet­ing, held in Li­ver­pool on Ap­ril 14 of the fol­low­ing year, 1822, when Doc­tor Adam Clarke pre­sid­ed, Mont­gom­ery made an ad­dress and closed it by the re­cit­al of this hymn with all of its verses…Doc­tor Clarke lat­er used it in his fa­mous Com­ment­a­ry in con­nect­ion with his dis­cuss­ion of the Se­ven­ty-se­cond Psalm.

Music: Ell­a­combe, Ge­sang­buch der Herz­ogl. Wirt­em­berg­isch­en Ka­thol­isch­en Hof­ka­pel­le (Würt­tem­berg, Ger­ma­ny: 1784); adapt­ed & har­mo­nized by Wil­liam H. Monk in the 1868 ap­pen­dix to Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, num­ber 366

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Hail to the Lord’s anointed, great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free;
To take away transgression and rule in equity.

He comes in succor speedy to those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in His sight.

By such shall He be fearèd while sun and moon endure;
Beloved, obeyed, reverèd; for He shall judge the poor
Through changing generations, with justice, mercy, truth,
While stars maintain their stations, or moons renew their youth.

He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in His path to birth.
Before Him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.

Arabia’s desert ranger to Him shall bow the knee;
The Ethiopian stranger His glory come to see;
With offerings of devotion ships from the isles shall meet,
To pour the wealth of oceans in tribute at His feet.

Kings shall fall down before Him, and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him, His praise all people sing;
For He shall have dominion o’er river, sea and shore,
Far as the eagle’s pinion or dove’s light wing can soar.

For Him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end:
The mountain dews shall nourish a seed in weakness sown,
Whose fruit shall spread and flourish and shake like Lebanon.

O’er every foe victorious, He on His throne shall rest;
From age to age more glorious, all blessing and all blest.
The tide of time shall never His covenant remove;
His name shall stand forever, His name to us is Love.

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Eurasian Collard Dove by Reinier Munguia

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Birds in Hymns – Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

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Birds In Christmas Hymns – Carol of the Birds

American Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) singing by J Fenton

American Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) singing by J Fenton

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)

Written as – El Cant Dels Ocells – Traditional Catalonian Carol

Translator Unknown

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Carol of the Birds

1. Upon this holy night,

When God’s great star appears,
And floods the earth with brightness
Birds’ voices rise in song
And warbling all night long
Express their glad heart’s lightness
Birds’ voices rise in song
And warbling all night long
Express their glad heart’s lightness

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff

2. The Nightingale is first
To bring his song of cheer,
And tell us of His glad – ness:
Jesus, our Lord, is born
To free us from all sin
And banish ev’ry sadness!
Jesus, our Lord is born
To free us from all sin
And banish ev’ry sadness!

Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

3. The answ’ring Sparrow cries:
“God comes to earth this day
Amid the angels flying.”
Trilling in sweetest tones,
The Finch his Lord now owns:
“To Him be all thanksgiving.”
Trilling in sweetest tones,
The Finch his Lord now owns:
“To Him be all thanksgiving.”

Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara koenigi) Pixdaus

Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara koenigi) Pixdaus

4. The Partridge adds his note:
“To Bethlehem I’ll fly,
Where in the stall He’s lying.
There, near the manger blest,
I’ll build myself a nest,
And sing my love undying.
There, near the manger blest,
I’ll build myself a nest,
And sing my love undying.

Photo

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Found another version of the Carol of the Birds and it appears to be Australian Birds.

The Carol of the Birds
(Wheeler/James)

Brolga (Grus rubicunda) by Ian

Brolga (Grus rubicunda) by Ian

Out on the plains the brolgas are dancing
Lifting their feet like warhorses prancing
Up to the sun the woodlarks go winging
Faint in the dawn light echoes their singing
Crana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day.

Crested Bellbird (Oreoica gutturalis) by Ian

Crested Bellbird (Oreoica gutturalis) by Ian

Down where the tree ferns grow by the river
There where the waters sparkle and quiver
Deep in the gullies bell-birds are chiming
Softly and sweetly their lyric notes rhyming
Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day.

Silver-crowned Friarbird (Philemon argenticeps) by Ian

Silver-crowned Friarbird (Philemon argenticeps) by Ian

Friar birds sip the nectar of flowers
Currawongs chant in wattle tree bowers
In the blue ranges lorikeets calling
Carols of bush birds rising and falling
Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day.
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Birds In Christmas Hymns – Welcome To Christmas

Doves in Israel

Doves in Israel ©©

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10 KJV)

Words: Bird­ie Bell (1877-?), 1886.
Music: Box­eld­er, Asa Hull, 1886

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Welcome To Christmas

Beautiful anthem the first Christmas wakened
Ages ago over Bethlehem’s plain;
Greeting the shepherds with magical accents,
Bringing deliverance from sin’s deep stain.

Refrain

Ring out a welcome to Christmas’ fair morning,
Herald its coming, each fresh, youthful voice;
Ring out a welcome, a bright cheery welcome!
Christmas is dawning, let earth rejoice!

Peerless the singers, and wondrous their singing;
Glorious theme: Lo, a Savior is born!
Royal Deliverer, His praises are ringing,
Hailing with joy the auspicious morn!

Refrain

Ring out a welcome to Christmas’ fair morning,
Herald its coming, each fresh, youthful voice;
Ring out a welcome, a bright cheery welcome!
Christmas is dawning, let earth rejoice!

Shall we not join in the loud, swelling chorus
Sending the message from mountain to sea;
Let fairest Peace spread her dove-like wings o’er us,
Making our hearts His fit home to be.

Refrain

Ring out a welcome to Christmas’ fair morning,
Herald its coming, each fresh, youthful voice;
Ring out a welcome, a bright cheery welcome!
Christmas is dawning, let earth rejoice!

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Under His Wings - (Dove - photographer unknown)

Under His Wings – (Dove – photographer unknown)

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Birds in Hymns – Hear Me O God, Nor Hide Thy Face

Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) (captive) by Raymond Barlow

Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) (captive) by Raymond Barlow

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. (Psalms 102:1-2 KJV)

Words by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), The Psalms of Da­vid, 1719.

Music: St. Mat­thew, Will­iam Croft (1678-1727), 1708

Al­ter­nate tune: Kings­foldRalph Vaugh­an Will­iams, 1906

Hear Me O God, Nor Hide Thy Face

Alternative

Hear me, O God, nor hide Thy face;
But answer, lest I die;
Hast Thou not built a throne of grace
To hear when sinners cry?

My days are wasted like the smoke
Dissolving in the air;
My strength is dried, my heart is broke,
And sinking in despair.

My spirits flag like withering grass
Burnt with excessive heat;
In secret groans my minutes pass,
And I forget to eat.

As on some lonely building’s top
The sparrow tells her moan,
Far from the tents of joy and hope
I sit and grieve alone.

My soul is like a wilderness
Where beasts of midnight howl;
There the sad raven finds her place
And there the screaming owl.

Dark, dismal thoughts, and boding fears,
Dwell in my troubled breast;
While sharp reproaches wound my ears,
Nor give my spirit rest.

My cup is mingled with my woes,
And tears are my repast;
My daily bread, like ashes, grows
Unpleasant to my taste.

Sense can afford no real joy
To souls that feel Thy frown;
Lord, ’twas Thy hand advanced me high
Thy hand hath cast me down.

My looks like withered leaves appear;
And life’s declining light
Grows faint as evening shadows are
That vanish into night.

But Thou for ever art the same,
O my eternal God;
Ages to come shall know Thy name,
And spread Thy works abroad.

Thou wilt arise and show Thy face,
Nor will my Lord delay
Beyond th’appointed hour of grace,
That long-expected day.

He hears His saints, He knows their cry,
And by mysterious ways
Redeems the prisoners doomed to die,
And fills their tongues with praise.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8 KJV)


Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) – See He That Hath Made His Refuge God

Will­iam Croft (1678-1727)

As a boy, Croft was a chor­is­ter at the Cha­pel Roy­al. From 1700-1712, he was or­gan­ist at St. Anne, So­ho, Lon­don. From 1704 on, he was, joint­ly with Jer­e­m­i­ah Clarke, or­gan­ist of the Cha­pel Roy­al. In 1708 he be­came Mas­ter of the Child­ren at Cha­pel Roy­al and or­gan­ist at West­min­ster Ab­bey. In 1713 he re­ceived a Doc­tor of Mu­sic de­gree from Ox­ford Uni­ver­si­ty. In 1726, the Aca­de­my of Vo­cal Mu­sic (lat­er the Aca­de­my of An­cient Mu­sic) was found­ed by 13 mu­si­cians, in­cluding Croft, Pep­usch, Bo­non­ci­ni, and Gem­i­ni­a­ni.

Croft was com­pos­er to Queen Anne and was rec­og­nized as the fore­most church mu­si­cian of his time. Croft al­so wrote in­stru­ment­al works (e.g., cem­balo and so­na­tas for flute (re­cord­er).

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Birds in Hymns – He That Hath Made His Refuge God

Baby Chick Peeping Out From Under His Mom's Wing - ©CC

Baby Chick Peeping Out From Under His Mom's Wing - ©CC

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. (Psalms 91:9-10 KJV)

Words by Isaac Watts, (1674-1748) The Psalms of Da­vid, 1719.

Music: St. John’s High­lands, anon­y­mous

He That Hath Made His Refuge God

He that hath made his refuge God
Shall find a most secure abode,
Shall walk all day beneath His shade,
And there at night shall rest his head.

Then will I say, My God, Thy power
Shall be my fortress and my tower;
I, that am formed of feeble dust,
Make Thine almighty arm my trust.

Thrice happy man! Thy Maker’s care
Shall keep thee from the fowler’s snare;
Satan, the fowler, who betrays
Unguarded souls a thousand ways.

Just as a hen protects her brood
From birds of prey that seek their blood,
Under her feathers, so the Lord
Makes His own arm His people’s guard.

If burning beams of noon conspire
To dart a pestilential fire,
God is their life; His wings are spread
To shield them with a healthful shade.

If vapors with malignant breath
Rise thick, and scatter midnight death,
Israel is safe; the poisoned air
Grows pure, if Israel’s God be there.

What though a thousand at thy side,
At thy right hand ten thousand died,
Thy God His chosen people saves
Amongst the dead, amidst the graves.

So when He sent His angel down
To make His wrath in Egypt known,
And slew their sons, His careful eye
Passed all the doors of Jacob by.

But if the fire, or plague, or sword,
Receive commission from the Lord
To strike His saints among the rest,
Their very pains and deaths are blest.

The sword, the pestilence, or fire,
Shall but fulfill their best desire;
From sins and sorrows set them free,
And bring Thy children, Lord, to Thee.

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, (Psalms 17:8 KJV)


Under His Wings - (Dove - photographer unknown)

Under His Wings - (Dove - photographer unknown)

Isaac Watts – (1674-1748)

Watts’ fa­ther was Non­con­form­ist im­pris­oned twice for his re­li­gious views. Isaac learned Greek, Latin, and He­brew un­der Mr. Pin­horn, Rec­tor of All Saints, and head­mas­ter of the Gram­mar School in South­amp­ton. Isaac’s taste for verse showed it­self in ear­ly child­hood, and his prom­ise caused a lo­cal doc­tor and other friends to of­fer him a un­i­ver­si­ty ed­u­ca­tion, as­sum­ing he would be or­dained in the Church of Eng­land. How­ev­er, Isaac de­clined and in­stead en­tered a Non­con­for­mist Acad­e­my at Stoke New­ing­ton in 1690, un­der the care of Thom­as Rowe, pas­tor of the In­de­pen­dent cong­re­ga­tion at Gir­dlers’ Hall; Isaac joined this con­gre­ga­tion in 1693.

Watts left the Acad­e­my at age 20 and spent two years at home; it was dur­ing this per­i­od that he wrote the bulk of his Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs. They were sung from man­uscripts in the South­amp­ton Cha­pel, and pub­lished 1707-1709.

The next six years of his life were again spent at Stoke New­ing­ton, work­ing as tu­tor to the son of em­i­nent Pur­i­tan John Har­topp. The in­tense stu­dy of these years is re­flect­ed in the the­o­log­ic­al and phil­o­soph­ic­al ma­ter­i­al he sub­se­quent­ly pub­lished.

Watts preached his first ser­mon at age 24. In the next three years, he preached fre­quent­ly, and in 1702 was or­dained as pas­tor of the In­de­pen­dent con­gre­ga­tion in Mark Lane. At that time he moved in­to the house of a Mr. Hollis in the Mi­nor­ies. His health be­gan to fail the next year, and Sam­u­el Price was ap­point­ed as his as­sist­ant in the min­is­try. In 1712, a fe­ver shat­tered his con­sti­tu­tion, and Price be­came co-pas­tor of the con­gre­ga­tion, which had moved to a new cha­pel in Bu­ry Street. It was at this time that Isaac be­came the guest of Sir Thom­as Ab­ney. He lived with Ab­ney (and lat­er Abney’s wi­dow) the rest of his life, main­ly at The­o­balds in Hert­ford­shire, then for 13 years at Stoke New­ing­ton.

In 1728, the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Ed­in­burgh award­ed Watts a Doc­tor of Di­vin­i­ty de­gree.

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Birds in Hymns – Spirit of God, That Moved Of Old

Under His Wings - (Dove - photographer unknown)

Under His Wings – (Dove – photographer unknown)

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:27 KJV)

Words: Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der, (1818-1895) in Hymns, by the So­ci­e­ty for the Pro­pa­ga­tion of Christ­ian Know­ledge, 1852.

Music: Sol­dau, Geyst­liche Ge­sangk Buch­leyn (Wit­ten­berg, Ger­ma­ny: 1524)

Spirit of God, That Moved Of Old

Spirit of God, that moved of old
Upon the waters’ darkened face,
Come, when our faithless hearts are cold,
And stir them with an inward grace.

Thou that art power and peace combined,
All highest strength, all purest love,
The rushing of the mighty wind,
The brooding of the gentle dove.

Come, give us still Thy powerful aid,
And urge us on, and make us Thine;
Nor leave the hearts that once were made
Fit temples for Thy grace divine.

Nor let us quench Thy sev’nfold light;
But still with softest breathings stir
Our wayward souls, and lead us right,
O Holy Ghost, the Comforter.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16 KJV)


Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der Born-Ear­ly Ap­ril 1818 in Red­cross, Coun­ty Wick­low, Ire­land. Died on Oc­to­ber 12, 1895  in Lon­don­der­ry, North­ern Ire­land. She was Buried at the Ci­ty Cem­e­te­ry, Lon­don­der­ry, North­ern Ire­land.

Alex­and­er’s hus­band was Will­iam Alex­an­der, bi­shop of Der­ry and Ra­phoe, and lat­er the An­gli­can pri­mate for Ire­land. Ce­cil and her sis­ter found­ed a school for the deaf, and she set up the Girls’ Friend­ly So­ci­e­ty in Lon­don­der­ry. Ce­cil Al­ex­and­er wrote about 400 hymns in her life­time.

Geyst­liche Ge­sangk Buch­leyn (actually a hymn book, maybe)- No information

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Birds in Hymns – Return of Summer

Song Sparrow in white flowers by Daves BirdingPix

Song Sparrow in white flowers by Daves BirdingPix

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22 KJV)

Words by  Al­ice J. Clea­tor  (1871-19260), in Light in the Val­ley (Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia: George C. Hugg, 1898), pag­e 196.

Music: Sant­i­a­go, Ro­bert Brooks Finch  (Late 19th Century)

Return of Summer

We hail thee, glorious summer,
We welcome thee today,
With all thy flowery legions
And all thy songbirds gay.
The happy rills to meet thee
With merry laughter run;
While woodland banners greet thee,
Beneath a smiling sun.

Refrain

We hail thee, joyous summer!
We welcome thee today!
With all thy flowery legion,
And all thy songbirds gay.

We hail thy smile of gladness
O Summer fair and sweet;
O let us lay all sadness
And sighing at thy feet.
The woodland ways are ringing
With many a merry lay;
Oh let us join in singing
With nature’s choir today.

We hail thee, joyous summer!
We welcome thee today!
With all thy flowery legion,
And all thy songbirds gay.

O Summer, thou hast brought us
A message sweet and fair;
O Summer, thou hast taught us
Of Heaven’s brooding care.
Thy gleaming skies of glory
Watch o’er the world in love;
They tell a glad, sweet story
Of summer lands above.

We hail thee, joyous summer!
We welcome thee today!
With all thy flowery legion,
And all thy songbirds gay.

Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. (Amos 8:1 KJV)


Al­ice J. Clea­tor, Born in An­dre­as, Isle of Man, Eng­land and died April 27, 1926 in Cleve­land, Ohio.

Cleator’s family ev­i­dent­ly em­igrat­ed to Amer­i­ca in the 1870’s. She was liv­ing in Clar­idon, Ohio, in 1880, & Geau­ga Coun­ty, Ohio, in 1900, 1910, & 1920. She taught school in New York Ci­ty, re­tir­ing some time be­fore 1915.

Ro­bert Brooks Finch, – No information on him other than this Santiago music

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