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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Re-clothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives thy service find,
In deeper rev’rence praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard,
Beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with thee
The silence of eternity,
Interpreted by love!
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still small voice of calm!
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)
While hardly suitable for younger children, this hymn, that has for many years been a top favourite with adults, appeals to that within us that is quite the opposite to the marching spirit of ‘Onward Christian soldiers’. The origin of the hymn is strange. The poet Whittier wrote a poem called ‘The brewing of Soma’, which is a drug from India that induces frenzy. As a Quaker he believed that the essence of worship was quiet of body and mind, and in these beautiful verses at the end of the poem he prays for the opposite of frenzy, and seeks out those passages in the New Testament that speak of a calm, unhurried, hushed response to the call of God. In the rush of modern life this has its obvious appeal, to young people as well as to adults.
The present popularity of the hymn must rest also on the way the tune ‘Repton’ so perfectly matches the mood of the words. It is in fact the melody of a song in Parry’s oratorio Judith, first performed in 1888. It came into use as a hymn tune in 1924 through the hymn book of the public school Repton, and from there into all major hymnbooks since then.