|Title:||ST. AGNES (Dykes)|
|Composer:||John Bacchus Dykes (1866)|
|Incipit:||33323 47155 53225|
Jesus, the very thought of thee
with sweetness fills the breast;
but sweeter far thy face to see,
and in thy presence rest.
John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. AGNES for [Jesus the Very Thought of Thee]. Dykes named the tune after a young Roman Christian woman who was martyred in A.D. 304 during the reign of Diocletian. St. Agnes was sentenced to death for refusing to marry a nobleman to whom she said, "I am already engaged to Christ, to Him alone I keep my troth." The tune was published in John Grey's Hymnal for Use in the English Church (1866).
ST. AGNES is a simple tune, best sung in two long lines and in harmony. To encourage meditation on the text (as was the practice with its Latin original), consider having the congregation follow the text of stanza 2 ("No voice can sing") without singing, but simply listening to it as played by the organ.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987