Father! Thy paternal care
Has my guardian been, my guide:
Every hallowed wish and prayer
Has Thy hand of love supplied:
Thine is every thought of bliss,
Left by hours and days gone by;
Every hope Thine offspring is,
Beaming from futurity.
Every sun of splendid ray;
Every moon that shines serene;
Every morn that welcomes day;
Every evening’s twilight scene;
Every hour which wisdom brings;
Every incense at Thy shrine;
These,—and all life’s holiest things,
And its fairest,—all are Thine.
And for all, my hymns shall rise
Daily to Thy gracious throne:
Thither let my asking eyes
Turn unwearied, righteous One!
Through life’s strange vicissitude
There reposing all my care;
Trusting still, through ill and good,
Fixed, and cheered, and counselled there.
Father, Thy paternal care. Sir J. Bowring. [The Divine Father, the Giver of all good Gifts.] This cento is taken from his poem for the third Tuesday evening in Autumn, in his Matins and Vespers, 1823, p. 120. It is in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, and is admirably suited for Flower Services. Its use amongst the American Unitarians is extensive.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)