Forty Days and Forty Nights

This Lenten hymn was written by English Anglican clergyman George Hunt Smyttan (1822-1870).

It was first published under the title "Poetry for Lent", in the Penny Post in 1856.

With meter 7.7.7.7, it is almost always set to the tune HEINLEIN (also called AUS DER TIEFE), first published in the N├╝rnbergisches Gesang-Buch (1676-77) and attributed to German composer Martin Herbst (1654-1681).


Downloads


Examples

Church choir with organ accompaniment:



Or see here for a different choir, with better sound quality: https://youtu.be/oVtF4688YOw


Solo singer self-accompanied on keyboard:



Instrumental: piano


Lyrics

Traditional language

Forty days and forty nights
Thou wast fasting in the wild;
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted, and yet undefiled.

Shall not we Thy sorrow share,
And from earthly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer,
Glad with Thee to suffer pain?

And if Satan vexing sore,
Flesh or spirit should assail,
Thou, his Vanquisher before,
Grant we may not faint or fail.

So shall we have peace divine;
Holier gladness ours shall be;
Round us, too, shall angels shine,
Such as minister'd to Thee.

Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,
Ever constant by Thy side;
That with Thee we may appear
At th' eternal Eastertide.

Modern English

Forty days and forty nights
You were fasting in the wild;
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted, and yet undefiled.

Shall not we Your sorrow share,
And from earthly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer,
Glad with You to suffer pain?

And if Satan vexing sore,
Flesh or spirit should assail,
You, his Vanquisher before,
Grant we may not faint or fail.

So shall we have peace divine;
Holier gladness ours shall be;
Round us, too, shall angels shine,
Such as ministered to Thee.

Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,
Ever constant by Your side;
That with You we may appear
At the eternal Eastertide.

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