Hymn After Fasting

O Christ, of all Thy servants Guide

Translator: R. Martin Pope; Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

O Christ, of all Thy servants Guide,
Mild is the yoke Thou mak'st us bear,
Leading us gently by Thy side
With gracious care.

Thy love took up our life's hard load
And spent in grievous toils its might:
Thy bond-slaves tread the easier road
Led by Thy light.

Nine hours have run their course away,
The sun sped three parts of its race:
And what remains of the short day
Fadeth apace.

The holy fast hath reached its end;
Our table now Thou loadest, Lord:
With all Thy gifts true gladness send
To grace our board.

Such is our Master's gentle sway,
So kind the teaching in His school,
That all find rest who will obey
His easy rule.

Thou would'st not have us scorn the grace
Of cleanliness and vesture fair:
Thou lovest not a soilèd face
And unkempt hair.

Let him that fasts, Thou saidst, be clean,
Nor lose health's fair and ruddy glow:
Let no wan sallowness be seen
Upon his brow.

'Tis better in glad modesty
Of our good works to shun display:
God sees what 'scapes our neighbour's eye
And will repay.

That Shepherd keen seeks one lost sheep
Sickly and weak, strayed from the fold,
Fleece torn with briers of thickets deep,
Foolishly bold.

He drives the wolves far from the track:
And found He brings on shoulders borne
To sunlit pen the wanderer back,
No more forlorn:

Yea, to the meads and grassy fields
The lamb restores, where no thorn balks,
No rough burrs tear, no thistle yields
Its bristling stalks:

But leaves of green herbs brightly glance
And in the grove the palm-trees dream,
And laurels shade the eddying dance
Of crystal stream.

For all these gifts, O Shepherd dear,
What service can I render Thee?
No grateful vows my debt shall clear
For love so free.

Though by self-chosen fasts severe
Our strength of limb we waste away:
Though, spurning food, we Thee revere
By night and day:

Yet our works never can o'ertake
Thy love or with Thy gifts compare:
Our toils this earthen vessel break,
The more we dare.

Therefore lest failing powers consume
Our fragile life and shrivelled veins
Pale 'neath the tyranny of rheum
And weakening pains:

Thou dost not rule perpetual Lent
For man, nor modest fare deny:
Fearless may each unto his bent
His wants supply.

Enough that all our acts by prayer
Be sanctified unto Thy will,
Whether we fast, or with due care
Our needs fulfil.

Then shall God bless us for our good
And lead us to our soul's true wealth;
For, if but consecrated, food
Shall bring us health.

O Lord, grant that our feast may spread
Marrow and strength throughout our flesh:
And may all Christly souls be fed
With vigour fresh.

Hymns of Prudentius, 1905

Translator: R. Martin Pope

Pope, Robert Martin, M.A., s. of Rev. H. J. Pope, D.D. (ex-President of the Wesleyan Conference), was born in London, Jan. 4, 1865, and was educated at Manchester Grammar School, Victoria Univ., Manchester, and St. John's Coll., Cambridge (B.A. 1887, M.A. 1896). He entered the Wesleyan Ministry in 1888 and is now (1906) stationed at Oxford. He was joint author of The Hymns of Prudentius, translated by R. Martin Pope and R. F. Davis, 1905, being a verse translation of the Cathemerinon of Prudentius with notes. Two of Mr. Pope's versions are in The English Hymnal, 1906, Nos. 54, 55. He also contributed articles on Latin Hymnody, with some original translations, to the London Quarterly Review, July 1905 and Jan. 1906, with a supplemental note… Go to person page >

Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius

Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, "The Christian Pindar" was born in northern Spain, a magistrate whose religious convictions came late in life. His subsequent sacred poems were literary and personal, not, like those of St. Ambrose, designed for singing. Selections from them soon entered the Mozarabic rite, however, and have since remained exquisite treasures of the Western churches. His Cathemerinon liber, Peristephanon, and Psychomachia were among the most widely read books of the Middle Ages. A concordance to his works was published by the Medieval Academy of America in 1932. There is a considerable literature on his works. --The Hymnal 1940 Companion… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Christ, of all Thy servants Guide
Title: Hymn After Fasting
Latin Title: Christe servorum regimen tuorum
Translator: R. Martin Pope
Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius
Language: English
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us