Scripture Verse

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

Introduction

portrait
James Montgomery
(1771–1854)

Words: James Mont­gom­e­ry, Sep­tem­ber 1840.

Music: Per­kins Ed­ward A. Per­kins, in The Chris­tian Hym­nal (Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio: Cen­tral Book Con­cern, 1882), page 220 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Per­kins (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

The or­ig­in­al man­uscript of this hymn is dat­ed 1840. From [John] Hol­land’s Mem­oirs of Mont­gom­ery we find that in Au­gust, 1840, the po­et vis­ited the wi­dow of E. C. Brack­en­bu­ry of Raith­by Hall, Spils­by, Lin­coln­shire, and that on his re­turn jour­ney he wrote this hymn.

On reach­ing Shef­field he gave the stan­zas to Hol­land, say­ing, You may do what you like with them. Hol­land adds, The hint was well un­der­stood, and the au­thor’s towns­men had the plea­sure of read­ing his beau­ti­ful har­vest hymn the next day in the Shef­field Mer­cu­ry (Mem­oirs, vol. v. p. 407).

It was al­so print­ed in the Ev­an­gel­i­cal Ma­ga­zine of Nov. 1840, as A Har­vest Hymn for 1840, and dated The Mount, Shef­field, Sept. 1840. Mont­gom­e­ry in­clud­ed it in his Or­ig­in­al Hymns, 1853, No, 279, in 7 stan­zas of 7 lines. It is a spir­it­ed hymn, and in an ab­bre­vi­at­ed form would be of some val­ue.

Julian, p. 1151

Lyrics

The God of harvest praise,
In loud thanksgivings, raise
Hand, heart, and voice;
The valleys laugh and sing,
Forests and mountains ring,
The plains their tribute bring,
The streams rejoice.

Of food for man and beast,
Jehovah spreads a feast,
Above, beneath:
Ye herds and flocks, draw near,
Fowls, ye are welcome here;
His goodness crowns the year
For all that breathe.

Garden and orchard ground,
Autumnal fruits have crowned,
The vintage glows:
Here plenty pours her horn;
There the full tide of corn,
Swayed by the breath of morn,
The land o’erflows.

The wind, the rain, the sun,
Their genial work have done;
Wouldst thou be fed?
Man, to thy labor bow,
Thrust in the sickle now,
Reap where thou once didst plough,
God sends thee bread.

Thy few seeds scattered wide,
His hand hath multiplied;
Here thou may’st find
Christ’s miracle renewed;
With self-producing food,
He feeds a multitude—
He feeds mankind.

The God of harvest praise;
Hands, hearts, and voices raise
With one accord;
From field to garner throng,
Bearing your sheaves along;
And in your harvest song,
Bless ye the Lord.

Yea, bless His holy name,
And your souls’ thanks proclaim
Through all the earth:
To glory in your lot
Is comely—but be not
His benefits forgot
Amidst your mirth.