Lift Up Your Songs, Ye Angel-Choirs

This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the Second Edition of William Chatterton Dix’s “Altar Songs.” He gives it the heading “The Two Thrones.”

Lift up your songs, ye angel-choirs,
Lift up your heads, ye golden gates;
Before your jewelled portals, lo!
The King and Lord of Glory waits:
His Robes are dyed with royal hues,
A purple glow proclaims the fight;
Jesus has won the world to God,
And triumphed by His Princely might.

Hark! Heaven’s enraptured chorus swells
To welcome back the Eternal Son;
While every glittering Wound shows forth
At what a cost the strife was won.
Hail! Jesus, our ascended King;
Hail! Son of Mary, Son of God;
No mind can e’er conceive Thy state,
No tongue can publish it abroad.

At God’s Right Hand Thou dost abide,
The sea of glass before Thee spread,
And like unto an emerald,
The rainbow round about Thy Head,
Yet, wondrous thought, while Jesus there,
With God the Father intercedes,
The Victim in the bloodless Rite
On earth’s ten thousand Altars bleeds.

Oft as the high mysterious Words
Are duly breathed o’er bread and wine,
Jesus, the God Incarnate comes
And seeks His holy Altar shrine-—
A mystery too deep for speech;
The starry Heavens their Lord restore,
And wondering angels hover near,
While loving, trembling hearts adore.

No longer led by shadowy type
We grope our way to Love’s abode,
The Cross marks out the narrow path,
Thy glorious Wounds light up the road:
E’en now the eye of Faith upturned
Beholds the golden robe of light,
Which wrapt Thee round when on the Mount,
Which veils Thee still from mortal’s sight.

Ah! if no outward sign be near,
Yet we can kneel and worship Thee;
Each Altar is a Glory-Throne
Where Thou for love of us wilt be:
Thus throned in Heaven and throned on earth
We worship Thee the Victor dread:
Thou Who the Heaven of Heavens dost fill
Abide with us, O Living Bread.

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1867.
Tune: TBD…
Meter: 88.88D

Posted in Ascension, Easter, Hymns By The Greats, The Church Year, The Holy Eucharist, The Sacraments, Tune to Be Determined, William Chatterton Dix | Leave a comment

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the Second Edition of William Chatterton Dix’s “Altar Songs.” He gives it the heading “Daily Bread.”

Give us this day our daily bread
Ah! sweeter prayer were never said
Than this, which every day outpoured,
Makes incense meet for God’s own Board.

O not alone for bread that fails
The cry which everywhere prevails;
To strengthen for the ghostly strife,
Man needs the very Bread of Life.

E’en little children ask for this
Before they fathom half the bliss
Which they, in God’s own time shall share;
Blest answer to a Heaven-taught prayer.

O wondrous thought that while we pray
Our God to give us food to-day,
We ask Thee, in Thy love, O Christ,
To bless us with Thy Eucharist.

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1867.
Tune: TBD…
Meter: 88.88

Posted in Divine Providence, Hymns By The Greats, Praise to God, The Holy Eucharist, The Sacraments, Tune to Be Determined, William Chatterton Dix | Leave a comment

Gold For The King Of Kings

This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the Second Edition of William Chatterton Dix’s “Altar Songs.” He gives it the heading “Carol for The Midnight Mass.”

Gold for the King of Kings,
A Monarch come to birth;
Incense to greet the Babe
Whose Flesh redeems the earth;
Myrrh, for His precious Death:
Thus came both sage and king:
So we with hands uplift
To Christ oblation bring.

Thou liest here, dear Child,
For Whom was found no room,
When Mary sought the inn
With Thee within her Womb:
Our shrines are all too poor
To give Thee fitting place,
Our eyes too dull to see
The fulness of Thy Grace.

Yet surely Thou art here,
Immaculate, Divine;
O cold our faithless hearts,
The Flesh, the Blood are Thine:
Receive, Incarnate Word,
Sweet Babe Whom Mary kist.
Receive, our worship paid
In this High Eucharist!

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1867.
Tune: TBD…
Meter: 66.66D

Posted in Christmas, Hymns By The Greats, The Church Year, The Holy Eucharist, The Sacraments, William Chatterton Dix | Leave a comment

Jesus Who For Me Betrayed

This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the Second Edition of William Chatterton Dix’s “Altar Songs.” He gives it the heading “Day of Institution. In the Same Night.”

Jesus, Who for me betrayed,
God, a captive Man wast made,
Keep my heart from treachery free,
Keep it steadfast, true to Thee.

Jesus, Who for me took bread,
With the Food Thyself hast spread
Soul and body, through the strife
Keep to everlasting life.

Jesus, Who gave thanks for me,
Let my life be thanks to Thee;
In this Holy Eucharist,
By my love Thy Feet be kist.

Jesus, Who the bread didst break
Help me now, for Thy dear Sake,
Heart of pride and heart of stone,
So to break that Thou wilt own.

Jesus, Who Thyself dost give,
Bread which whoso tastes shall live;
What a gift have I to bring—
Thee, Oblation, Offering!

Jesus, Who didst say, Take, eat—
Drink ye of this chalice sweet:
Am I hungry? Thou dost feed,
Thirsty? Thou art Drink indeed.

Night in which the Feast wast made,
Night when man his God betrayed;
Yes, to-night my choice is this,
Love with John, or Judas-kiss.

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1867.
Tune: TBD…
Meter: 77.77

Posted in Holy Thursday, Holy Week, Hymns By The Greats, Lent, The Church Year, The Holy Eucharist, The Sacraments, Tune to Be Determined, William Chatterton Dix | Leave a comment

Jesu, We Laud And Worship Thee

This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the Second Edition of William Chatterton Dix’s “Altar Songs.” He gives it the heading “Day of Institution. An Eucharistic Meditation.”

Jesu, we laud and worship Thee,
The veiled Incarnate Deity,
Since sinful man eats angels’ Food,
The Bread of Life, the Precious Blood.

Oft as we seek Thine Altar-throne
Help every soul in suppliant tone,
As Love’s own Voice comes whispering by
To ask with tears—Lord, is it I?

Lord, is it I who doubt if Thou
Art really present with us now,
Present to calm each aching breast,
To give the heavy-laden rest?

Lord, is it I who turn away
And go like Judas to betray,
As if no Paschal Blood had gleamed
On lips which Grace has once redeemed?

Jesu, what love can Thine transcend,
Love without measure, time, or end,
Which gives to those who seek Thy Feet
Thy Blood to drink, Thy Flesh to eat?

O Glory, that no tongue can tell,
O Presence most ineffable;
Hidden in forms of Bread and Wine,
Faith now adores her Lord Divine.

Yes, spotless Victim, sinless Priest,
We hail Thee in this awful Feast;
And pray through It our souls uplift
To Thee, the Giver and the Gift.

In hours of woe, in time of wealth,
Be this sweet Food the spirit’s health,
Till in this strength we reach our home,
Till to the Mount of God we come.

There we shall see, unveiled at last
When Holy Sacraments are past,
The Presence which on earth we own,
And know as even we are known.

Jesu, all laud and praise to Thee,
At this high Feast our prayer shall be,
That we, who hymn this mighty Grace
In Heaven may see Thee Face to face.

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1867.
Tune: “Du Meinen Seeler”  Cantica Spirituala, 1847.
Meter: 88.88

Posted in Holy Thursday, Holy Week, Hymns By The Greats, Lent, The Church Year, The Holy Eucharist, The Sacraments, William Chatterton Dix | Leave a comment

Ten Thousand Saints Are Ours To-Day

This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the Second Edition of William Chatterton Dix’s “Altar Songs.” He gives it the heading “Festivals. The Fellowship of All Saints.”

Ten thousand saints are ours to-day,
Who says he stands forlorn, alone?
High over earth‘s tumultuous cries
The songs of the redeemed arise,
The while they throng the Narrow Way,
Each fellow-saint with smiles to own.

A shepherd through the bitter cold
Seeking his flock till all be found:
A traveller strayed in blinding snow;
A mourner left alone with woe;
Yes! but All Saints are round that fold,
Those wandering steps, the sorrow-crowned.

For sailor-boy his watch who keeps
Far out at sea, saints crowd the wave:
The soldier has them at his side:
They bless the bridegroom, dower his bride,
And when a friend in silence sleeps,
They watch, like sentries, by the grave.

June’s sunny hours and Autumn’s shades,
Spring’s tide of hope and Winter’s gloom,
The saints of God are in them all;
We hear them each in order call
From mountain tops, from hidden gladcs,
In tones which leave for doubt no room.

What do they say? They clearest know
Who set themselves all day to hear;
Whose souls are tuned to catch the word,
More sweet than they have ever heard,
Who, heart and treasure fixed below,
Forget that all the saints are near.

Alone? With every wind there steal
The voices of the tribes, we say;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stand
Close to our side, thus, hand in hand
With those who bear the mystic seal,
To Thee, O God, the Vow we pay.

Yes, when before Thine Altar bowed,
We feel the Son of Mary near,
The saintly hosts encamp around,
Tremble with us on holy ground,
Or as about their Lord they crowd,
With us, in Love, lose every fear.

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1867.
Tune: “Jervaulx Abbey” French Psalter Melody, 1562.
Meter: 88.88.88

Posted in All Saints (November 1), Hymns By The Greats, Major Feasts, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Eucharist, The Sacraments, William Chatterton Dix | Leave a comment

Within The Temple’s Hallowed Courts

This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the Second Edition of William Chatterton Dix’s “Altar Songs.” He gives it the heading “Festivals of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Pure Offering.”

Within the Temple’s hallowed courts
Saint Mary stands,
Behold, the Mother of Fair Love
Fulfils the law’s commands.

Too poor the costly lamb to bring,
She yet brings Thee,
The spotless Lamb of God — the Heir
Of immortality.

O mystery, that woman’s love
Should bring the Lord
Into His temple and fulfil
The promise of His word.

Yet so it was. That little Child
The Mother maid
Pressed to her loving heart, was e’en
The God to Whom she prayed.

The offering of the poor was hers;
Yet wondrous thought,
Unto’ the Altar of her God
The Lamb of God she brought.

Now the expectant ones behold
The Light of Light;
And in their daily hour of prayer,
Their faith is lost in sight.

God does not dwell ’mid feverish heats,
Or fancies wild;
’Tis in the quiet of His house
We find the Holy Child.

We look for something great the while
His blessed Will
Is working silently Its course,
Like lonely mountain-rill.

The earthquake, fire and storm
We make our choice;
Forgetful that the Lord, of old,
Came in the still, small voice.

Forgetful, that by those who kept
In duteous round
Their holy course of prayer and fast,
The Infant-Christ was found.

O Father, we have nought to bring
But Mary’s gift:
The Sacrifice of Thy dear Son
Anew by faith we lift.

We, like the Mother-maid, are poor,
But Thou dost deign
To give us Thy dear Son, that we
May give to Thee again!

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1867.
Tune: Unknown – no tune seems to exist in this meter
Meter: 84.86

Posted in Hymns By The Greats, Major Feasts, No Tunes Exist For Hymn, The Blessed Virgin Mary, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Eucharist, The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Feb. 2), The Sacraments, William Chatterton Dix | Leave a comment