John M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome; in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive; of scholarly temperament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area; often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi… Go to person page >
The day, O Lord, is spent. J. M. Neale. [Evening.] First published in his Hymns for Children, 1st series, 1842, No. xviii., in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and given as a daily hymn for use at 6 p.m. It is in a large number of hymn-books, and usually unaltered, as in Thring's Collection, 1882. In the Cooke and Denton Hymnal, 1853, No. 199, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, beginning, "Saviour, abide with us," is a cento, of which st. i. and iv. are by Canon W. Cooke, and st. ii. and iii., the corresponding stanzas of this hymn, by Dr. Neale. This cento is repeated in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871, with the omission of the doxology.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
The day, O Lord, is spent, p. 1147, ii. Dr. Neale's original form of this hymn was given in his Hymns for Children, 1843, as "Saviour, abide with us." His revised text, "The day, O Lord, is spent," appeared in the 2nd ed. of the Hymns for Children, 1844. The statement that "Saviour, abide with us" is a cento by Canon W. Cooke is an error.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)