Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ken's Morning Hymn

Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711) was Anglican Bishop of Bath & Wells, but, as a Non-juror, was dismissed from this office to a quiet retirement.  He was known for his saintliness, and wrote this and some other hymns.  

I learnt this off some years back, and am glad to propose it here as a good prayer upon arising; the hymn is divisible into three parts, addressing successively one's soul, the angels, and God, and closing with a well-known doxology; parenthetically it may be noted that he was buried at dawn to the strains of this hymn:


Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Redeem thy misspent time that’s past
Live this day as if ’twere thy last;
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great Day thyself prepare.

Let all thy converse be sincere,
Thy conscience as the noon-day clear;
Think how all-seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

By influence of the light Divine
Let thy own light in good works shine;
Reflect all heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love and cheerful praise.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the Angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.

Awake, awake,* ye heavenly choir,      [* I wake, I wake,]
May your devotion me inspire,
That I like you my age may spend,
Like you may on my God attend.

May I, like you, in God delight,
Have all day long my God in sight,
Perform, like you, my Maker’s will –
O, may I never more do ill!

Had I your wings, to heaven I’d fly.
But God shall this defect supply;
And my soul, wing’d with warm desire,
Shall all day long to heaven aspire.

Glory to thee, who safe hast kept
And hast refreshed me whilst I slept;
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake,
I may of endless life partake.

Heaven is, dear Lord, where’er thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of thee.

Lord, I my vows to thee renew;
Scatter my sins as morning dew;
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers, with all their might,
In thy sole glory may unite.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him, all creatures here below,
Praise him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

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