Scripture Verse

I humbled my soul with fasting. Psalm 35:13


John M. Neale (1818–1866)


Words: Un­known au­thor (Ex more doc­ti mys­ti­co). This hymn is found in two 11th Cen­tu­ry ma­nu­scripts in the Brit­ish Mu­se­um, and in La­tin Hymns of the Ang­lo-Sax­on Church, print­ed from an 11th Cen­tu­ry ma­nu­script by the Sur­tees So­cie­ty (Dur­ham, Eng­land, 1851). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale in The Hym­nal Not­ed, 1854.

Music: Je­su Co­ro­na Rou­en church tune (🔊 pdf nwc).


The fast, as taught by ho­ly lore,
We keep in so­lemn course once more;
The fast to all men known, and bound
In for­ty days of year­ly round.

The law and seers that were of old
In di­vers ways this Lent fore­told
Which Christ, all sea­sons’ king and guide,
In af­ter ag­es sanc­ti­fied.

More spar­ing there­fore let us make
The words we speak, the food we take,
Our sleep and mirth, and clos­er barred
Be ev­ery sense in ho­ly guard.

In pray­er to­ge­ther let us fall,
And cry for mer­cy, one and all,
And weep before the Judge’s feet,
And His aveng­ing wrath en­treat.

Thy grace have we of­fend­ed sore,
By sins, O God, which we de­plore;
But pour up­on us from on high,
O par­don­ing One, Thy cle­men­cy.

Remember Thou, though frail we be,
That yet Thine han­di­work are we;
Nor let the hon­or of Thy name
Be by ano­ther put to shame.

Forgive the sin that we have wrought;
Increase the good that we have sought;
That we at length, our wan­der­ings o’er,
May please Thee here and ev­er­more.

We pray Thee, ho­ly Tri­ni­ty,
One God, un­chang­ing Uni­ty,
That we from this our ab­sti­nence
May reap the fruits of pe­ni­tence.