Scripture Verse

Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king. Ecclesiastes 4:13

Introduction

portrait
William Gardiner (1770–1853)
Courtesy of British Museum
cc-license

Words: Will­iam Cow­per (1731–1800). Wri­tten for the an­ni­ver­sa­ry of the es­tab­lish­ment of Sun­day schools at Ol­ney, Eng­land. Ap­peared in Di­vine Hymns At­tempt­ed in Ea­sy Lang­uage for the Use of Child­ren, by Row­land Hill (Al­der­man­bu­ry, Lon­don, Eng­land: T. Wilk­ins, 1790), page 58.

Music: Gar­din­er Will­iam Gar­di­ner, 1812 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
William Cowper
(1731–1800)

Lyrics

Hear, Lord, the song of praise and prayer,
In Heav’n Thy dwelling place,
From infants, made Thy constant care,
[originally, made the public care]
And taught to seek Thy face!

Thanks for Thy Word, and for Thy day,
And grant us, we implore,
Never to waste in sinful play,
Thy holy Sabbaths more.

Thanks that we hear—but, Oh, impart,
To each desires sincere,
That we may listen with our heart,
And learn, as well as hear.

For if vain thoughts our minds engage,
Of elder far than we:
What hope that at our heedless age,
Our minds shall e’er be free?

Much hope, if Thou our spirits take
Under Thy gracious sway,
Who canst the wisest wiser make
And babes as wise as they.

Wisdom and bliss Thy Word bestows,
A sun that ne’er declines;
And be Thy mercies showered on those
Who placed us where it shines.