Seventh in a series of posts that go through hymns in The Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church of Canada.
As Pants the Heart
Psalm 42 MartydromParaphrase, Tate and Brady’s New Version 1696Music: Hugh Wilson (1766-1824) public domain
As pants the hart for cooling streams
when heated in the chase,
so longs my sou, O God, for thee
and thy refreshing grace.For thee, my God, the living God,
my thirsty soul doth pine;
oh when shall I behold thy face,
thou majesty divine?Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Trust God, who will employ
sure aid for thee, and change these sighs
to thankful humns of joy.God of my strength, how long shall I,
like one forgotten, mourn,
forlorn, forsaken and exposed
to my oppressor’s scorn?Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Hope still, and thou shalt sing
praise to thy God, the living God,
thy health’s eternal spring.
The lyrics for this hymn are a paraphrase and of the three parahprase versions of Psalm 42 in the Book of Praise, this is the one which covers the majority of the Psalm. The phrasing in the first two verses fit with the pattern of the music perfectly while the other three continue through the midpoint. Because of this and the fact that most of us need to breathe, the meaning tends to be lost or at least muddled.
The tune for hymn 26 isn’t my favourite. There are many other 8686CM tunes in the BOP which would work if you don’t like this one. Despite the fact that the paraphrase is better, I would choose hymn 25 which uses the English folk tune O Waly, Waly or 27 with it’s own tune As The Deer.