This is my 38th upload in the Lenten Hymn-of-the-Day project. Today is Monday in Holy Week, so, we turn to some serious and somber texts and tunes.
Today's words are by Phineas Fletcher (1582-1650). Son of Giles Fletcher and cousin of poet John Fletcher, Phineas attended Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. He took Holy Orders in 1621, and served at Helgay, Norfolk, almost 29 years. His best known poem, “Purple Island” (1633), was an allegorical description of man, in the style of Spenser. His "Locustes or Apollyonists," an anti-Jesuit satire, suggested to Milton some ideas for his Paradise Lost.
The music, "Song 46" is by the great Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625). Gibbons came from a musical family: his father William was a musician in Oxford, and his brother William played the organ in Exeter. Orlando’s musical career started at age 13, when he joined the King’s College choir. He matriculated at King’s College in 1599, received a Bachelor of Music degree from Cambridge in 1606, and Doctor of Music from Oxford in 1622. Gibbons was a favorite court musician. He was appointed organist for the Royal Chapel in 1605, and for Westminster Abbey in 1623. He had a hugely successful career, and found time to compose anthems, madrigals, fantasias, and dances.
This is not really a hymn, but rather a sacred song, and should really be sung a cappella. I played it "as a hymn", but you can hear a much more "authentic" performance here:
Drop, drop, slow tears,
And bathe those beauteous feet,
Which brought from heaven the news
And Prince of Peace.
Cease not, wet eyes,
His mercies to entreat;
To cry for vengeance
Sin doth never cease.
In your deep floods
Drown all my faults and fears;
Nor let his eye see sin,
But through my tears.
Words: Phineas Fletcher (1582-1650)
Music: Song 46