by Anthony Esolen
Who in our time writes hymns? If I may judge from my church, the Roman Catholic, it's a small cadre of usually liberal priests, former priests, nuns, and former nuns. Only one or two of these are both orthodox and any good at writing poetry. I'm not asking for greatness, but solid competence; not filet mignon, but Irish stew. Then there are all the meals that are both tasteless and laced with arsenic—but that is another article.
So it seems as if I enter a different world when I read a hymn-poem by a bishop, of all strange creatures, who was also an author of a variety of books, a biblical archaeologist, the brother of a bishop, the son of a master of Trinity College, and the nephew of one of the greatest poets who ever lived. His name is Christopher Wordsworth, and the hymn I have before me is "See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph," written for the feast of the Ascension, and published in The Holy Year, or, Hymns for Sundays, Holidays, and Other Occasions Throughout the Year (1865), for the Anglican Church.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Anthony Esolen is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire. His many books include Sex in the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind, Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a regular contributor to Chronicles, Crisis Magazine, The Claremont Review, Inside the Vatican Things, The Catholic Thing, and American Greatness. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy. He is a Roman Catholic and lives with his wife in New Hampshire. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
more on music from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives