• Hymns,  Poetry

    Christopher Wordsworth, “See the Conqueror mounts in triumph”

    One of the most compelling hymns about the Ascension, “See the Conqu’ror mounts in triumph” was written by Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885), Bishop of Lincoln (1869-1885) and nephew of the poet William Wordsworth. Between 1830 and 1836 he was a fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. The most celebrated Greek scholar of his day, from 1836 until 1844 Wordsworth was headmaster at Harrow. As Sheila Doyle explains, this hymn was “First published in The Holy Year (1862), where it was a long hymn of 10 stanzas in the author’s favoured 15.15.15.15 metre. It was originally intended for both Ascension Day and Pentecost, and was subsequently divided to give two separate hymns, five…

  • Poetry,  Texts

    Christina Georgina Rossetti, Advent (1858)

    Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894) wrote a number of poems about Advent and Christmas. Since we sing it almost every Christmas Eve, we are very familiar with the text to her “In the bleak mid-winter” This poem is not as familiar. It has been set to music by Charles Giffen (b. 1940), and (in an abbreviated form) sung by our choir.   This Advent moon shines cold and clear, These Advent nights are long; Our lamps have burned year after year And still their flame is strong. ‘Watchman, what of the night?’ we cry, Heart-sick with hope deferred: ‘No speaking signs are in the sky,’ Is still the watchman’s word. The…