The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Awake my Soul, and With the Sun

The Morning Hymn of Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711)

First published in 1709.
Compare: Awake my Soul, and With the Sun - 1697

Source: Thomas Ken, The Practice of Divine Love: An Exposition Upon the Church Catechism. First American Edition. (Charleston, S.C.: Miller & Browne, 1849), pp. 119-120.

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Thy precious time mispent, redeem,
Each present day thy last esteem ;
Improve thy talent with due care,
For the great day thyself prepare.

In conversation be sincere,
Keep conscience as the noon-tide clear :
Think how all-seing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

By influence of the light divine,
Let thy own light to others shine,
Reflect all heaven's propitious rays,
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.

I wake, I wake; ye heavenly choir,
May your devotion me inspire,
That I like you my age may spend,
Like you may on my God attend.

May I like you in God delight,
Have all day long my God in sight,
Perform like you my Maker's will,
O may I never more do ill.

Had I your Wings, to Heaven I'd fly,
But God shall that defect supply,
And my Soul wing'd with warm desire,
Shall all day long to Heav'n aspire.

All praise to Thee who safe hast kept,
And hast refresh'd me whilst I slept.
Grant Lord, when I from death shall wake,
I may of endless Light partake.

I would not wake, nor rise again,
And Heav'n itself I would disdain ;
Were't not Thou there to be enjoy'd,
And I in Hymns to be employ'd.

Heav'n is, dear Lord, where e'er Thou art,
O never then from me depart ;
For to my Soul, 'tis Hell to be,
But for one moment void of Thee.

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew,
Disperse my sins as Morning dew,
Guard my first springs of Thought and Will,
And with Thy self my Spirit fill.

Direct, controul, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my Powers with all their might,
In Thy sole Glory may unite.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all Creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye Heavenly Host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


This version of the Morning Hymn was first printed in A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester College, And all other Devout Christians, To which is added three Hymns for Morning, Evening, and Midnight: by the same Author. Newly Revised (London: Printed for Charles Brome at the Gun, the West end of St. Paul's Church, 1709).

Although initially in some doubt, it is clear that these changes were made by Bishop Ken. Any versions of this hymn printed in a volume titled A Conference between the Soul and body Concerning the Present and Future State are not versions authorized by Bishop Ken.

The first version of this hymn by Bishop Ken was printed in A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester College (1695). In that volume, Bishop Ken exhorted the scholars "to sing the Morning ... Hymn in your chamber devoutly...." See: Awake my Soul, and With the Sun - 1697. This version is believed to have been distributed to the Winchester scholars in a different format beginning in 1674.

Numerous versions of this Hymn have been printed since 1709, with numerous words changed, and in some cases, verses omitted. Dr. John Julian observed:

The various Morning Hymns by Ken which have appeared in the Appendix to Tate and Brady's Version of the Psalms, and in most hymnals published during the past 150 years are compilations from this hymn, with, in many instances, slight alterations of the text either of 1695 or of that of 1709. In some modern hymnals the difficulty of the length of the hymn is overcome by dividing it into two or more parts.

Hymns based on the Morning Hymn include:

1. All praise to Thee Who safe hast kept.
2. Awake, my soul, and with the sun.
3. Glory to Thee Who safe hast kept.
4. I wake, I wake, ye heavenly choirs.
5. I would not wake nor rise again.
6. Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart.

The above text was compared and corrected as necessary from John Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology (1892), pp. 618-9.

Bishop Ken's Evening Hymn is All Praise To Thee My God This Night.

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