Here is yet another fine hymn-tune that is all but forgotten.
The music was composed by Arthur Henry Brown (1830-1926). Almost completely self taught, he began playing the organ at the age 10. He was organist of the Brentwood Parish Church, Essex (1842-1853); St. Edward’s, Romford (1853-1858); Brentwood Parish Church (1858-1888); St. Peter’s Church, South Weald (from 1889); and Sir Anthony Browne’s School (-1926). A member of the London Gregorian Association, he supported the Oxford Movement (High Church), and pioneered the restoration of plainchant and Gregorian music in Anglican worship.
The name of the tune is "St. John Damascene," and it is one that really "rolls" majestically, sweeping along with excitement.
The problem is that this great text has other very popular tunes, such as "St. Kevin," composed by Arthur Sullivan, that are more popular.
The text is attributed to St. John of Damascus, and this translation of is by John Mason Neale (1818-1866), as well as the "compilers" of "Hymns Ancient and Modern."
Photos of Brown and Neale are attached below.
Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness!
God hath brought his Israel
Into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh's bitter yoke
Jacob's sons and daughters;
Led them with unmoistened foot
Through the Red Sea waters.
'Tis the spring of souls to-day;
Christ hath burst his prison,
And from three days' sleep in death
As a sun hath risen:
All the winter of our sins,
Long and dark, is flying
From his light, to whom we give
Laud and praise undying.
Now the queen of seasons, bright
With the day of splendour,
With the royal feast of feasts,
Comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem,
Who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains
Alleluia now we cry
To our King immortal,
Who triumphant burst the bars
Of the tomb's dark portal;
Alleluia, with the Son
God the Father praising;
Alleluia yet again
To the Spirit raising.