Three Hymns and a Doxology
by Thomas Ken
Awake, my soul, and with the Sun
All praise to Thee, my God, this night
Glory to Thee, my God, this night
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow
Lord, now my sleep does me forsake
My God, now I from sleep awake
MORNING HYMN (UFFINGHAM, ST. LUKE)
Text: Origins. In 1674, Thomas Ken (1637–1711) published A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester College. His connection with that institution began as student there, 1651–1656, then as a fellow in 1666 and 1672–1679. His manual included these instructions:
As soon as ever you awake in the morning, . . . strive as much as you can to keep all worldly thoughts out of your mind, till you have presented the first-fruits of the day to God, which will be an excellent preparative, to make you spend the rest of it better, and therefore be sure to sing the morning and evening hymn in your chamber devoutly, remembering that the Psalmist, upon happy experience, assures you that it is a good thing to tell of the loving kindness of the Lord early in the morning, and of his truth in the night season.
The original printing included a marginal reference to Psalm 92:1, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High” (KJV). Initially, his manual did not include a morning or evening hymn, so there is no way to tell if he meant specific hymns of his own composure or of someone else’s. Twenty-one years later, in the 1695 edition, he included three hymns of his own: one for morning (“Awake, my soul, and with the sun”), one for evening (“Glory, to Thee, my God this night”), and one for midnight (“Lord, now my sleep does me forsake”).
The morning and evening hymn had appeared a few years earlier, in 1692, in a pamphlet, A Morning and Evening Hymn Formerly Made by a Reverend Bishop (Fig. 1). The morning hymn contained twelve stanzas of four lines. The evening hymn, in this earliest printing, began, “All praise to Thee, my God this night,” contained thirteen stanzas, and included an early form of the doxology, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,” given as stanza 11.
Fig. 1. A Morning and Evening Hymn Formerly Made by a Reverend Bishop (1692). Images courtesy of the British Library.
In the 1695 Manual (“Newly Revised,” Fig. 2), the hymns were substantially different. The morning hymn contained fourteen stanzas and ended with the familiar doxology as it had appeared in 1692 (“Praise him above, ye Angelick Host”). Some of the original stanzas were not repeated in the 1695 Manual, while others contained alterations. The revised evening hymn included the notable change in the first line, “Glory to Thee, my God this night,” but the first ten stanzas were substantially the same. The biggest changes were at the end, with a new stanza 11, and the more sensible placement of the doxology as the twelfth and final stanza. The 1695 Manual included the hymn for midnight, “Lord, now my sleep does me forsake,” in 13 stanzas, including the doxology.
Fig. 2. A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester College (1695).
In 1709, another edition of the Manual entered print and brought with it more changes (Fig. 3). The morning hymn contained many minor revisions, most with the apparent intent of improving the poetry without changing the meaning. This included a change in the doxology from “ye Angelick Host” to “ye Heavenly Host.” The changes to the evening hymn included the reversal of the first line to its earliest form, “All praise to Thee, my God this night,” and general improvements to the language, although the penultimate stanza is arguably more awkward with its opening false trochaic accent. Both versions of the evening hymn—“All praise to Thee” and “Glory to Thee”—have remained in print. The 1709 midnight hymn has an improved opening line, “My God, now I from sleep awake,” and other minor updates.
Fig. 3. A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester College (1709).
Tune (Morning). In the late 1700s and early 1800s, “Awake, my soul, and with the sun” was frequently set to the tune MORNING HYMN, also known as UFFINGHAM or ST. LUKE, by Jeremiah Clarke (ca. 1669–1707). The tune was first published in Henry Playford’s The Divine Companion (London, 1701), where it was paired with “Sleep, downy sleep” by Thomas Flatman (Fig. 4), scored for melody and bass. The connection between Clarke’s tune and Ken’s hymn started with Thomas Call’s Tunes & Hymns as They Are Used at the Magdalen Chapel (1762 | PDF).
In modern hymnals, “Awake, my soul, and with the sun” is most frequently printed with MORNING HYMN by François Barthélemon (1741–1808), written for this text, and first printed in a supplement to Hymns and Psalms Used at the Asylum or House of Refuge for Female Orphans (ca. 1785–1789 | Fig. 5). The original version was scored for melody and figured bass, with some harmony parts suggested by miniature notes.
Tune (Evening). “All praise to Thee, my God this night,” and its alternate opening, “Glory to Thee, my God this night,” have enjoyed a long association with a tune by Thomas Tallis (1505–1585), usually called TALLIS’ CANON or TALLIS’ EVENING HYMN, originally set to Psalm 67 in The Whole Psalter Translated into English Metre (London: John Daye, ca. 1567 | Fig. 6), a collection of paraphrases by Archbishop Matthew Parker (1504–1575). In this first printing, the melody was in the tenor part of a four-part setting, and each musical phrase was repeated. The tune gets its nickname TALLIS’ CANON because it can be sung as a canon (or round); this is reflected in the interaction between the meane (upper harmony) and tenor parts. Having each voice part written out separately in quadrants like this called the choirbook format.
Tallis’ tune was halved, removing the repeated phrases, in Thomas Ravenscroft’s Whole Booke of Psalmes (London, 1621 | Fig. 7). This is the form of the tune that has been perpetuated in hymnals. The text, “Praise the Lord, O ye Gentiles all,” has unclear origins; it appeared as early as 1564 in The First Parte of the Psalmes Collected into Englishe Meter (London: John Day, 1564), where it was headed “Laudate Domini, Psalme cxvii. T.B.”
Tallis’ tune was first paired with Ken’s evening hymn in The Harmonious Companion (London: W. Pearson, 1732), compiled by B. Smith and edited by P. Prelluer (Fig. 8). This edition used the harmonization from Ravenscroft, arranged in four parallel staves rather than the choirbook format.
Tune (Midnight). The midnight hymn, “My God, now I from sleep awake,” has not often been printed with music, and in the last century it has fallen out of use. Starting in 1762 and for the next fifty years, this text was printed in The Tunes & Hymns as They are Used at the Magdalen Chapel (Fig. 9) with a tune labeled variously as HYMN XVIII or MIDNIGHT HYMN, by Thomas Call, apparently written for this text. This setting includes two parts, melody and figured bass, and supplies all 13 stanzas of the text.
Fig. 9. The Hymns, Anthems, and Tunes, with the Ode Used at the Magdalen Chapel (ca. 1766).
Tune (Doxology). “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow” first appeared separately from the other hymns, with music, in Thomas Knibb The Psalm Singers Help (ca. 1769), where it appeared with a tune called LEBANON. It was first printed with OLD 100TH in The Federal Harmony, Part 2 (Boston: John Norman, 1790 | Fig. 10).
by CHRIS FENNER
for Hymnology Archive
2 Sept. 2018
Erik Routley, “Glory to thee, my God, this night,” Hymns and the Faith (Greenwich, CT: Seabury Press, 1956), pp. 87-90.
Erik Routley, “Awake, my soul, and with the sun,” Hymns and the Faith (Greenwich, CT: Seabury Press, 1956), pp. 91-96.
Hymn Tune Index:
“Awake, my soul, and with the sun” at Hymnary.org:
“Awake, my soul, and with the sun” at Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology:
“All praise to Thee, my God this night” at Hymnary.org:
“All praise to Thee, my God this night” at Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology:
“My God, now I from sleep awake” at Hymnary.org:
“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow” at Hymnary.org: