We’re currently working on a couple of hymns. Here’s a beautiful piece by Keith & Kristyn Getty:

“Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.”

Then we also have Lloyd Larson’s “I Can Do All Things.” I cannot find a recording or the lyrics for this song online, possibly because the poetry is so bad that nobody likes it. Here’s my recollection of the lyrics:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
I can do all things through Christ my Lord.

When my spirit feels so weak,
When my something something bleak
I know the Lord will be near me to comfort guide and to cheer me
Every day…
In every way…

When the storms of life assail,
When my something cannot prevail,
I know the Lord will be near me to comfort guide and to cheer me
Every day…
In every way…

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
I can do all things through Jesus Christ my Lord.”

You’ll have to imagine the glide up on “every way” and the general holler-along feeling of the piece. But the poetry is awful, isn’t it?

We’re also doing 5 Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughn Williams, using the poetry of George Herbert.

Hot stuff, naturally. Herbert was a Welsh guy from the 16th century. He was considered a major mystical poet. I don’t actually know what you have to do to become a major mystical poet, but here is the first of the 5 Songs, “Easter”:

Rise, heart, thy lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may’st rise:
That, as his death calcinèd thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and, much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art,
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.
His stretchèd sinews taught all strings what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort, both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long;
Or, since all music is but three parts vied
And multiplied
Oh let thy blessèd Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

I feel, as I always did when I had to read bad poetry in kids’ text books, that it is nonsensical that we should ever encounter bad poetry. There are so many greats poems in the public domain, and so many good poets making little to no money from their poetry, that market forces should make it impossible to sell bad poetry.