1 Lord of the harvest! once again
We thank Thee for the ripened grain;
For crops safe carried, sent to cheer
Thy servants through another year;
For all sweet holy thoughts supplied
By seed-time, and by harvest-tide.
2 The bare dead grain, in autumn sown,
Its robe of vernal green it puts on;
Glad from its wintry grave it springs,
Fresh garnished by the King of kings,
So, Lord, to those who sleep in Thee
Shall new and glorious bodies be.
3 Nor vainly of Thy Word we ask
A lesson from the reaper’s task;
So shall Thine angels issue forth;
The tares be burnt; the just of earth,
Playthings of sun and storm no more,
Be gathered to their Father’s store.
4 Daily, O Lord, our prayers be said,
As Thou hast taught, for daily bread;
But not alone our bodies feed,
Supply our fainting spirits’ need!
O Bread of Life! from day to day,
Be Thou their Comfort, Food, and Stay!
Anstice, Joseph , M.A., son of William Anstice of Madeley, Shropshire, born 1808, and educated at Enmore, near Bridgwater, Westminster, and Ch. Church, Oxford, where he gained two English prizes and graduated as a double-first. Subsequently, at the ago of 22, he became Professor of Classical Literature at King's College, London; died at Torquay, Feb. 29, 1836, aged 28. His works include Richard Coeur de Lion, a prize poem, 1828; The Influence of the Roman Conquest upon Literature and the Arts in Rome (Oxford prize Essay); Selections from the Choice Poetry of the Greek Dramatic Writers, translated into English Verse, 1832, &c. His hymns were printed a few months after his death, as:— Hymns by the late Joseph Anstice, M.A., formerly Student… Go to person page >
Lord of the harvest, once again. J. Anstice. [Harvest.] First published in his (posthumous) Hymns, 1836, No. 34, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines. In the Child's Christian Year, 1841, it was repeated without alteration; and from that date it came into general use, but usually with slight alterations. It is one of the most popular of Harvest hymns, and is in common use in all English-speaking countries. In the Anglican Hymn Book, 1868, it begins, “O Lord of harvest, once again." Original text in Lord Selborne's Book of Praise, 1862.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)