1 From year to year in love we meet;
From year to year in peace we part;
The tongues of children uttering sweet
The thrilling joy of every heart.
2 But time rolls on; and, year by year,
We change, grow up, or pass away;
Not twice the same assembly here
Have hailed the children's festal day.
3 Death, ere another year, may strike
Some in our number marked to fall:
Be, young and old, prepared alike;
The warning is to each, to all.
4 Oft broke, our failing ranks renew;
Send teachers, children, in our place,
More humble, docile, faithful, true,
More like thy Son, from race to race.
Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #853
From year to year in love we meet. J. Montgomery. [S. S. Anniversary.] This hymn was evidently written for one of the great gatherings of Sunday School children at Whitsuntide, at Sheffield. It is No. 545 in his Christian Psalmist, 1825, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. It did not appear in the first copies of the first edition of his Original Hymns, 1853, but took the place of a cancelled hymn (“Our hearts are glad to hear," No. 338) in later copies of the same issue. It is popular with modern compilers.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
From year to year in love we meet, p. 400, ii. Written for the Sheffield Sunday School Union Festival, Whit-Monday, May 19, 1823.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)