When as returns this solemn day
When as returns this solemn day. Anna Letitia Barbauld* (1742-1825).
This hymn was first published in Hymns intended to be used at the Commencement of Social Worship (1802), entitled ‘Hymn XLV. Long Metre.’ (McCarthy and Kraft, 1994, p. 301). It had three stanzas:
When, as returns this solemn day,
Man comes to meet his maker God,
What rites, what honours shall he pay?
How spread his sovereign’s praise abroad?
From marble domes and gilded spires
Shall curling clouds of incense rise?
And gems, and gold, and garlands deck
The costly pomp of sacrifice?
Vain sinful man! creation’s lord
Thy golden offerings well may spare;
But give thy heart, and thou shalt...
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