Completing the Canticles from Isaiah

flight_into_egypt
The Flight into Egypt by Millet (1814-74) currently in the Art Institute of Chicago.

In these days after Christmas, which is so much about the fulfilment of prophecy, here is a single canticle to complete a set.

In CWDP, Canticles 24-38, fourteen of them, all come from Isaiah. This is the last one to be metricated.  It is No. 28 in CWDP where is is called A Song of Trust. In this collection, it is called Salvation is our Strong City, from the opening line.  It is a selection of verses from Isaiah 26, Isaiah 26.1-4,7-9,12.  CWDP offers it as an alternative Canticle between the readings during the last four Sundays leading up to Advent, sometimes now known as the Kingdom Season. It is in Long Metre, (LM). These are the words:-

1. Salvation is our strong city, ~ with walls and ramparts fortified.
To the just nation open wide ~ your gates. Bless its fidelity.

2. The one whose mind is stayed on you, ~ you shall hold in a double peace.
Let keeping faith then never cease ~ for such as trust in all you do.

3. To God the LORD entrust your days: ~ the LORD stands ever as our rock.
And level is the righteous walk: ~ before the just, you smooth their ways.

4. In the path of your judgements, LORD, ~ we wait upon you faithfully:
Your name and your renown shall be ~  for each soul its desired reward.

5. My soul yearns for you in the night: ~ my spirit seeks out your command.
When your good judgements fill the land: ~ its peoples will learn what is right.

6. Peace, LORD, is what for us you’ve bid ~ and on us, that’s what you’ll bestow:
Our works are yours; what can we show; ~ all that we think we’ve done, you did.

The tune I have found for it is a Long Metre tune called Effingham. There already is another Common Metre tune in this collection called Effingham and provided for Psalm 110.  So this one is Effingham LM. The other has changed its name to Effingahm CM.

This Long Metre tune is an attractive, lively one well suited to the message of the verses, but not well known.  I found this version at hymnary.org, There it is described as Anon, English and before 1860. I was fairly sure from the style that it was at least fifty years older than that. It turns out that I was right.  The Hymn Tune index at http://hymntune.library.uiuc.edu has a record of its being in Thomas Williams’s Psalmodica Evangelica as far back as 1789.  I have, though, not been able to find out much more about its provenance or any suggestion as to who might originally have written it. So this is Effingham LM. It is in F Major. It has been added to Soundcloud:-

effingham-lm-in-hymn-format
Effingham LM
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