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The Day Thou Gavest

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The Day Thou Gavest

Words: John El­ler­ton, A Li­tur­gy for Mis­sion­a­ry Meet­ings, 1870. Queen Vic­tor­ia chose this hymn to be sung at the 60th an­ni­vers­a­ry of her reign in 1897; it was al­so sung at the cer­e­mo­ny when Bri­tain re­turned con­trol of Hong Kong to Chi­na in 1997.

Music: St. Cle­ment, Cle­ment C. Schole­field, writ­ten for this text, and ap­pear­ing in Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874. Al­ter­nate tune:

  • Com­mand­ments, Lou­is Bour­geois, 1543

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

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.

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.

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.

So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

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