Return of Joy

When darkness long has vailed my mind

Author: William Cowper
Tune: RIVAULX (Dykes)
Published in 125 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 When darkness long has vail'd my mind,
And smiling day once more appears,
Then, my Redeemer! then I find
The folly of my doubts and fears.

2 I chide my unbelieving heart;
And blush that I should ever be
Thus prone to act so base a part,
Or harbor one hard thought of thee!

3 O let me then at length be taught
(What I am still so slow to learn,)
That God is love, and changes not,
Nor knows the shadow of a turn.

4 Sweet truth, and easy to repeat!
But when my faith is sharply try'd
I find myself a learner yet,--
Unskillful, weak, and apt to slide.

5 But, O my Lord, one look from thee
Subdues the disobedient will;
Drives doubt and discontent away,
And thy rebellious worm is still.

6 Thou art as ready to forgive,
As I am ready to repine;
Thou, therefore, all the praise receive;
Be shame, and self-abhorrence, mine.

Source: A Collection of Hymns and Prayers, for Public and Private Worship #291

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When darkness long has vailed my mind
Title: Return of Joy
Author: William Cowper
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

When darkness long has veiled my mind. W. Cowper. [Peace.] First published in R. Conyer's Collection, 1772, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed “Trials overcome by Hope." When included in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. iii., No. 23, it was expanded into 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "Peace after a Storm." In its full, or in an abbreviated form, it is found in several hymn-books in Great Britain and America, both old and new. Although not referred to, so far as we can find, in Cowper's Memoirs, it was evidently written at or about the same time as his "God moves in a mysterious way."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #11915
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

Instances

Instances (1 - 100 of 125)
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A Choice Collection of Hymns, in which are some never before printed #LXXIV

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A Collection of Evangelical Hymns #CXIV

A Collection of Hymns & Spiritual Songs, for Public and Family Worship #d136

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A Collection of Hymns and a Liturgy for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Churches #302

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A Collection of Hymns and a Liturgy #302

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A Collection of Hymns and A Liturgy #302

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A Collection of Hymns and Prayers, for Public and Private Worship #291

A Collection of Hymns from Various Authors. New ed. #d355

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A Collection of Hymns, for the Christian Church and Home #136

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship #425

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship (10th ed.) #425

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship (6th ed.) #425

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship. (3rd ed.) #425

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship. (45th ed.) #425

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship. 16th ed. #425

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Social and Private Worship #CXLIII

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for the Sanctuary #395

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for the Use of Universalist Societies and Families 16ed. #400

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, for Social and Private Worship #369

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, for Social and Private Worship (Rev. ed. with supplement) #369

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns #137

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns #566

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A New Selection of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs #247

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A Selection of Hymns and Psalms for Social and Private Worship (2nd ed. Enl. and Imp.) #167

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A Selection of Hymns and Psalms for Social and Private Worship (6th ed.) #176

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A Selection of Hymns and Psalms, for Social and Private Worship. (11th ed.) #176

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A Selection of Hymns and Psalms #167

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A Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs #H.CXLVIII

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A Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs #H.CXLVIII

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A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship. In four parts (10th ed.) (Gadsby's Hymns) #323

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A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors. #241

A Selection of Hymns, from Various Authors #d421

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A Selection of Hymns #CCXLI

A Selection of Hymns....3d ed #d248

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A Selection of Sacred Poetry #566

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A Selection of Sacred Poetry #566

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Baptist Hymn Book #a305

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Christian Hymns for Public and Private Worship #465

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Christian Hymns #456

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Christian's Duty, exhibited in a series of hymns #318

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Church Harmonies #448

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Church Melodies #108

Church Music, a Collection of Hymn Tunes. #d188

Compilation of Hymns for the Use of the Churches of the Christian Union #d795

Devotional Melodies, Adapted to Social Worship #d111

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Hymn and Tune Book for Use in Old School or Primitive Baptist Churches #301

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Hymn and Tune Book, for the Church and the Home #277

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Hymn Book for Christian Worship #522

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Hymn Book for Christian Worship. 8th ed. #a522

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Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church #476

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Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (11th ed.) #476

Hymns and Psalms, Original and Modern, Selected and Revised #d347

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Hymns for Christian Devotion #337

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Hymns for Christian Devotion #337

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Hymns for Christian Melody #402

Hymns for Conference Meetings and Private Devotions #d140

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Hymns for Public Worship #450

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Hymns for Social Worship #127

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Hymns for the Church of Christ (3rd thousand) #662

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Hymns for the Church of Christ. (6th thousand) #662

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Hymns for the Sanctuary #444

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Hymns for the Sanctuary and Social Worship #632

Hymns for the Vestry and the Fireside #d340

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Hymns of the Ages (3rd series) #73

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Hymns of the Church Militant #171

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Hymns of the Church Universal #225

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Hymns of the Spirit #462

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Hymns, Selected and Original, for Public and Private Worship #404

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Hymns, Selected and Original #404

Hymns, Selected from Various Authors, for the Use of Young Persons 3rd Am. from 9th London ed. #d260

Hymns, Selected from Various Authors, for the Use of Young Persons #d241

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Hymns #404

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Hymns #404

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Hymns #404

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Hymns #404

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Melodies and Hymns for Divine Service in Appleton Chapel #a121

Melodies of Heaven #d145

Prayers and Hymns for the Church and the Home #d783

Psalms and Hymns Adapted to Social, Private and Public Worship in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. #d913

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Psalms and Hymns, Adapted to Public Worship #326

Psalms and Hymns, for Social and Private Worship #d466

Revival Hymns ... with a Supplement. 2nd ed. #d333

Select Hymns #d204

Supplement to Watts #d461

Pages

Exclude 124 pre-1979 instances
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