A stranger once did bless the earth (Henry Carey)

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  • (Posted 2021-03-07)  CPDL #63376:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2021-03-07).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 53 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn with four-part harmony and underlaid words in the version published in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard
  • (Posted 2021-03-07)  CPDL #63375:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2021-03-07).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 109 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn in the version published in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard, melody with words.

General Information

Title: A stranger once did bless the earth
Composer: Henry Carey
Tune: Surrey
Lyricist: John Clare

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredHymn   Meter: 88. 88. 88

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella or keyboard

First published:
  2nd published: 1983 in Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard, no. 335
Description: See The Lord my pasture shall prepare for a different version of the melody

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

A stranger once did bless the earth
who never caused a heart to mourn,
whose very voice gave sorrow mirth;
and how did earth his worth return?
it spurned him from its lowliest lot:
the meanest station owned him not.

An outcast thrown in sorrow’s way,
a fugitive that knew no sin,
yet in lone places forced to stray;
men would not take the stranger in.
Yet peace, though much himself he mourned,
was all to others he returned.

His presence was a peace to all,
he bade the sorrowful rejoice.
Pain turned to pleasure at his call,
health lived and issued from his voice;
he healed the sick, and sent abroad
the dumb rejoicing in the Lord.

The blind met daylight in his eye,
the joys of everlasting day;
the sick found health in his reply,
the cripple threw his crutch away.
Yet he with troubles did remain,
and suffered poverty and pain.

It was for sin he suffered all
to set the world-imprisoned free,
to cheer the weary when they call;
and who could such a stranger be?
The God, who hears each human cry,
and came, a Saviour, from on high.