The Doxology ~ A Hymn Study

We've been doing a hymn study on the Doxology; I like to sing the Doxology when we are in the garden, and I wanted the kids to be able to join me. The Doxology is actually the last verse of a poem/hymn by Thomas Ken called "Awake, my soul, and with the Sun." And when I found this poem, I fell in love with it. In addition to singing the Doxology, I'm reading the whole poem in the mornings. It's a small way of getting our morning meetings started again.

It's made of such lovely words and thoughts:

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

By influence of the Light divine
Let thy own light to others shine.
Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

In conversation be sincere;
Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
Think how all seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

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.

All praise to Thee, who safe has kept
And hast refreshed me while I slept
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
I may of endless light partake.

Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’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 Thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

I would not wake nor rise again
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
And I in hymns to be employed.

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.

So many amazing thoughts! Like the line "Thy precious time misspent, redeem," speaks of wasted time, maybe on Facebook (for me) and watching TV (for the kids), or even just arguing instead of finding peace. And the other line we connected with is "For to my soul ’tis hell to be/But for one moment void of Thee." When we aren't thinking of God our Father, the peace of our home quickly dissipates and we're left with ill feelings and ugliness.

I haven't decided if I want us to memorize the whole poem, although I am tempted. But for now, we're just reading, singing, and talking about the big thoughts. I'm also adding it to my personal Bible time.

Some YouTube videos: a David Crowder version, a slow version with the words, and a pipe organ playing. Or a version of the full hymn here, but it's really hard to sing the last verse!

The Proverbial Homemaker has a few printables for subscribers that look great. If you just want some copywork, I put together a couple of sheets for our house. Print copywork of the Doxology for Gideon, and cursive copywork of the entire poem for Eowyn.

I haven't gone this far yet, but it's nice that it's available for later. You could tie this study in with Greek and Latin by studying different doxologies, translating the Greek and Latin ones, and doing a word study of "Doxology. Here's a quick place to start!

Have you read this poem? Which line speaks to you?

Pin for later?



  1. I'm only familiar with the last stanza of that poem, it's really beautiful. We've recently added some hymn singing to our daily morning times and we love it! I'd really like to add more to it though and find some resources with the stories behind the hymns and the hymn writers. Copywork is a great idea!

    1. One of our favorites has been "It is Well" but prepare yourself if you haven't heard the story behind that one. You'll be weeping. There's a video of it one Youtube, my kids still ask to watch the whole video, it's so beautiful. Here it is: Such an amazing story!

  2. So cool! I had no idea. thank you so much for sharing. I will be adding this to our list of poems to behold.

  3. Today, my wasted time has been just sitting here on the couch...doing absolutely nothing. I feel a little bad about it, but to my credit our spring and summer has been the busiest we've ever had and I just feel like doing nothing. blah...Great study though for homeschooling (Hymns) and it is a lovely lovely one.


    1. We could have wasted time together today Stephanie! But I stayed on the couch because of a summer cold, that has turned into a nasty ear infection for the baby. So you may not have wanted to hang out too close to us. :) (Awesome Youtube channel!)

  4. What a beautiful poem! Thank you for sharing these resources with #SocialButterflySunday this week! Hope you will link up again this Sunday :)

  5. Thanks for sharing this Hymn Study....I learned some new verses, too :) So glad that you linked up at Together on Tuesdays!!

  6. Wow this is a wonderful poem, thank you for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. What a great idea and study of the Doxology. Blessings

  7. My father is a retired Methodist pastor and you have no idea how many times we have sang this! Just reading through the verses brings back memories of Sunday church and listening to my dad preach! I am so blessed he is still with us and at 79 he is still preforming family weddings and such! thanks for the memories today!

    1. This made me smile, thank you for sharing your memories! Your Dad sounds awesome.

  8. I had never read that whole poem, but it is beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I'm going to print it and try learning a few more of the stanzas by singing it like the last verse =)

  9. Hi Jennifer, I left a comment last week but it must have disappeared into the blogosphere. Enjoyed your thoughts on the poem. We use the last verse to sing Grace before meals sometimes.