1 Fountain of mercy, God of love,
How rich Thy bounties are;
The changing seasons, as they move,
Proclaim Thy constant care,
Proclaim Thy constant care.
2 When in the bosom of the earth,
The sower hid the grain,
Thy goodness marked its secret birth,
And sent the early rain,
And sent the early rain.
3 The spring’s sweet influence, Lord, was Thine,
The plants in beauty grew;
Thou gav’st refulgent suns to shine,
And soft refreshing dew,
And soft refreshing dew.
4 These varied mercies, from above,
Matured the swelling grain:
A kindly harvest crowns Thy love,
And plenty fills the plain,
And plenty fills the plain.
5 We own and bless Thy gracious sway;
Thy hand all nature hails;
Seed-time nor harvest, night or day,
Summer nor winter fails,
Summer nor winter fails.
Source: Book of Worship with Hymns and Tunes #554
"To praise the ever bounteous Lord, My soul, wake all thy powers: He calls, and at His voice come forth The smiling harvest hours."Needham's hymn, however, is very inferior in design and composition, and has nothing in common with this, by Mrs. Flowerdew, save the subject of Harvest. Mrs. Flowerdew's hymn was brought into congregational use by Cotterill in his Selection, 1819, where it was given in 5 stanzas, the last being by himself or Montgomery. The latter repeated it in his Christian Psalmist, 1825. In the Anglican Hymn Book, 1868, it is given as "O Fount of mercy, God of love." Its use in its original and other forms is extensive in most English-speaking countries. Original text in Hymnal Companion, No. 50. An altered version of this hymn is very popular. It was given in Murray's Hymnal, 1852, as:—
"Father of mercies, God of love, Whose gifts all creatures share;"and later in numerous collections in Great Britain and America, including Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861 (where a doxology is substituted for the last stanza), and others. Another form of this hymn was given anonymously in Longfellow and Johnson's American Unitarian Book of Hymns, 1846; their Hymns of the Spirit, 1864; and in Mrs. E. Courtauld's Psalms, Hymns & Anthems, Lond., 1860. It begins, "Fountain of life, and God of love." --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)