Scripture Verse

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalm 90:10


Words: Hen­ry Down­ton, 1851. Ap­peared in The Book of Praise, ed­it­ed by Roun­dell Pal­mer (Lon­don & Cam­bridge, Eng­land: Mac­Mill­an, 1862), num­ber 276. Note: The 1898 re­print of The Book of Praise gives the au­thor­ship year as 1848.

Music: Ev­er­ton Hen­ry T. Smart, in Psalms and Hymns, 1867 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Down­ton (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Henry T. Smart (1813–1879)


Harp, awake! tell out the sto­ry
Of our love and joy and praise;
Lute, awake! awake our glo­ry!
Join a thank­ful song to raise!
Join we, breth­ren faith­ful-heart­ed,
Lift the so­lemn voice again
O’er an­oth­er year de­part­ed
Of our three­score years and ten!

Lo! a theme for deep­est sad­ness,
In our­selves with sin de­filed;
Lo! a theme for ho­li­est glad­ness,
In our Fa­ther re­con­ciled!
In the dust we bend be­fore Thee,
Lord of sin­less hosts above;
Yet in low­li­est joy ad­ore Thee,
God of mer­cy, grace, and love!

Gracious Sav­ior! Thou hast length­ened
And hast blest our mor­tal span,
And in our weak hearts hast strength­ened
What Thy grace alone be­gan!
Still, when dan­ger shall be­tide us,
Be Thy warn­ing whis­per heard;
Keep us at Thy feet, and guide us
By Thy Spir­it and Thy Word!

Let Thy fa­vor and Thy bless­ing
Crown the year we now be­gin;
Let us all, Thy strength pos­sess­ing,
Grow in grace, and van­quish sin!
Storms are round us, hearts are quail­ing,
Signs in heav’n and earth and sea;
But, when heav’n and earth are fail­ing,
Savior! we will trust in Thee!