Words: Stephen of Mar Saba (Judea), 8th Century (Κόπον τε καὶ κάματον). Translated from Greek to English by John M. Neale in Hymns for the Eastern Church, 1862. Neale gave it the unusual title Idiomela, in the Week of the First Oblique Tone. However, Neale later said these lyrics contained little of the original Greek version. This hymn was sung in the 1940 movie Our Town, which was nominated for several Academy Awards.
Some years ago,writes Mr. James A. Watson, of Blackburn, England,I often visited one of our adult Sunday-school scholars who had just been brought to the knowledge of the Saviour…She heard a gospel of full and free salvation, embraced it, and gradually became a faith-filled, consistent Christian. She was laid low with a serious illness, but it was always a pleasure to visit her.
On one occasion she told me that the evening before, when she had been left alone for the night, a cloud came over her spirit, the sense of loneliness grew upon her, and she seemed forsaken of God.
All looked black, and she dreaded the long, lone night. This was a most unusual thing and she wondered why it should be so.
Just then, in the quiet night, she heard steps on the flags of the foot-way. A man wearing the clogs of the factory operator was coming along, evidently returning late from some religious meeting. He was full of joy, for before he reached the house where my scholar was laying awake, he struck up in a joyful and loud song,Art thou weary, art thou languid?…
The singer, anangel in clogs,went on his way, singing aloud out of a full heart; but deep down into the heart of the lonely woman went the words,Be at rest!Again she cast herself upon the Lord; the cloud parted, peace and rest filled her heart, and she doubted no more.
Sankey, pp. 115–16
Art thou weary, art thou languid,
Art thou sore distressed?
Come to Me, saith One,
Be at rest.
Hath He marks to lead me to Him,
If He be my Guide?
In His feet and hands are wound prints
And His side.
Hath He diadem, as monarch,
That His brow adorns?
Yes, a crown in very surety,
But of thorns.
If I find Him, if I follow,
What His guerdon here?
Many a sorrow, many a labor,
Many a tear.
If I still hold closely to Him,
What hath He at last?
Sorrow vanquished, labor ended,
If I ask Him to receive me,
Will He say me nay?
Not till earth and not till Heaven
Finding, following, keeping, struggling,
Is He sure to bless?
Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,