1 O happy band of pilgrims,
If onward ye will tread
With Jesus as your fellow
To Jesus as your Head!
2 O happy if ye labour
As Jesus did for men;
O happy if ye hunger
As Jesus hungered then!
3 *The cross that Jesus carried
He carried as your due;
The crown that Jesus weareth,
He weareth it for you.
4 *The faith by which ye see him,
The hope in which ye yearn,
The love that through all troubles
To him alone will turn,
5 *What are they but forerunners
To lead you to his sight?
What are they save the effluence
Of uncreated light?
6 The trials that beset you,
The sorrows ye endure,
The manifold temptations
That death alone can cure,
7 What are they but his jewels
Of right celestial worth?
What are they but the ladder
Set up to heaven on earth?
8 O happy band of pilgrims,
Look upward to the skies,
Where such a light affliction
Shall win you such a prize!
Source: The New English Hymnal #418
|First Line:||O happy band of pilgrims|
|Title:||O Happy Band of Pilgrims|
|Author:||St. Joseph the Hymnographer (850)|
|Translator:||J. M. Neale (1862)|
O happy band of pilgrims. [Pilgrims of Jesus.] Appeared in Dr. Neale's Hymns of the Eastern Church, 1862, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, with the note by Dr. Neale, "This is merely a cento from the Canon on SS. Chrysanthus and Daria (March 19)." In his Preface to the 3rd edition, 1866, he is more explicit, and says concerning this hymn, “Safe home, safe home in port," and "Art thou weary?" they "contain so little that is from the Greek, that they ought not to have been included in this collection; in any future edition they shall appear as an Appendix."
Dr. Neale did not live to publish another edition: but in 1882 the 4th edition with notes, was issued under the editorship of S. G. Hatherly, and in it the three hymns named were "removed from the body of the work at Dr. Neale's suggestion" and included in an Appendix. Its proper designation, therefore, is By Dr. Neale, based on the Greek Canon on SS. Chrysanthius and Daria by St. Joseph the Hymnographer. It must be added that no Greek lines corresponding to those in the English hymn can be found in that Canon. Dr. Neale nevertheless found what he wanted there, that is the inspiration to write the hymn as it now stands. The use of this hymn is very extensive in all English-speaking countries.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
O happy band of pilgrims, p. 834, i. The text of this hymn in Church Hymns , 1903, is Dr. Neale's original with st. iii. as the first part of st. iv. in 8 lines, and an alteration in st. v., line 1. That in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1904, is a new cento, with alterations, from Dr. Neale's full text of 1862. The English Hymnal, 1906, has Dr. Neale's text with alteration as below. The original of st. v., line 1, is "What are they but vaunt-couriers." This is given in Church Hymns as ..."but His heralds"; in Hymns Ancient & Modern as ..."but the couriers"; and in The English Hymnal as ... but forerunners."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)