Jesus Thou Divine Companion (Hymn for Labor Day)

This hymn was written by American Presbyterian theologian and academic, Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933) - and it reflects the Protestant work-ethic strongly.  It was first published in "The Toiling of Felix and Other Poems", released Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1900.

At some point, the title "Hymn for Labor Day" has been associated with it - but it is not clear when this sub-title was introduced, as it was not included in the earliest publications.

With meter D, tunes it is set to include:
  • PLEADING SAVIOR from Christian Lyre, 1830
  • LOVE DIVINE by George F. Lejeune (1841-1904)
  • HYFRYDOL by Rowland Hugh Prichard (1811-1887)



A piano improvisation, based on the tune:


Jesus, Thou divine companion,
By Thy lowly human birth
Thou hast come to join the workers,
Burden-bearers of the earth.
Thou, the carpenter of Nazareth,
Toiling for Thy daily food,
By Thy patience and Thy courage
Thou have taught us work is good.

They who tread the path of labour
Follow where Thy feet have trod;
They who work without complaining
Do the holy will of God.
Thou, the peace that passes knowledge,
Dwelling in the daily strife;
Thou, the bread of heav'n, art broken
In the sacrament of life.

Every task, however simple,
Sets the soul that does it free;
Every deed of human kindness
Done to man is done to Thee.
Jesus, Thou divine companion,
Help us all to work our best;
Bless us in our daily labour,
Lead us to our Sabbath rest.

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