Hymn Story

Let Us With a Gladsome Mind

Hymn lists

by book of Bible

Take a moment to listen to these words, and then I will tell you something surprising about them.  The words are:

Let us, with a gladsome mind,

Praise the Lord, for he is kind;

For his mercies aye endure,

Ever faithful, ever sure.

(NOTE:  The “aye” in this case is pronounced with a long a—rhymes with “weigh.”  It means “ever” and not “yes”—from George William Rutler, Brightest and Best)

The something surprising is this:  These words were written by a fifteen year old schoolboy.  That will seem less surprising if I tell you who the boy was.  He was John Milton, who grew up to be a famous poet—author of the epic poem, “Paradise Lost.”

Milton based “Let us with a gladsome mind” on Psalm 136.  He hadn’t intended to write a hymn, but his poem was set to music by a church organist, John Bernard Wilkes, long after Milton’s death, using a tune written originally by John Antes, a Moravian composer.

— Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan