Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish

1
Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish;
Come to the mercy-seat, fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish,
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
2
Joy of the comfortless, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure;
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying—
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure.
3
Here see the Bread of Life; see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above;
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but heaven can remove.
6
Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

The original text for this comforting hymn was written by an Irish Roman Catholic, Thomas Moore. Although Moore is the author of 32 sacred songs, he is best known for his ballads and other secular poems. Following the publication of his 'Irish Melodies', 1807-9, he became known as the "Voice of Ireland" in much the same fashion as Robert Burns represented Scotland. It is said that Moore's literary skills, both in prose and poetry, contributed much to the political emancipation of his country, for his writings revealed, to the English public, the spirit of a people, whom they had previously found distasteful. Moore was one of the few writers of his day to have made a financial success of writing poetry. He received several large sums and royalties for his works. However, because of his poor business practices, he spent the last years of his life poor, unhappy, and mentally disturbed.

Moore's father was a prosperous merchant in Dublin, where Thomas was born. After attending Trinity College but not being allowed to graduate because of his Roman Catholic affiliation, Moore trained to become a lawyer but never could bring himself to begin a legal career. He also was given an Admiralty post in Bermuda, but the monotony of this life soon caused him to resign the job and devote his life exclusively to the writing of literature.

The 1st 2 stanzas of this hymn were published in 1824 in Moore's hymn, 'Relief in Prayer'. The hymn as sung today, however, has experienced considerable revision. For example, the 2nd line of the 1st stanza originally read "Come to the shrine of God, fervently kneel." The 2nd line of the 2nd stanza was changed from "hope when all others die". Moore's 3rd stanza was completely different from the one used today. It originally read:

Go ask the infidel what boon he brings us,

what charm for aching hearts he can reveal?

Sweet as that heavenly promise hope sings us,

earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Thomas Hastings, American hymnist, is the one who greatly altered Moore's text. He included the hymn in the collection 'Spiritual Songs for Social Worship' in 1831. It is generally agreed that Hastings rescued an interesting poem and made it usable for evangelical churches.

Hastings was born in Washington, Connecticut. Though his formal musical training was meager, and, as an albino, he was afflicted with eye problems throughout his life; yet he wrote no less than 50 volumes of church music, including 1000 hymn tunes and more than 600 original hymn texts., and edited more than 50 music collections. He has supplied the music for such beloved hymns as "Rock of Ages", "From Every Stormy Wind that Blows" and "Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned". It is said, however, that Hastings' most important contribution was the effort he expended in the improvement of singing, so badly needed at that time in American churches. He was regarded as the foremost choir trainer of his day, and was constantly in demand for that purpose. He was a man of strong convictions regarding sacred music. He once stated: "The homage that we owe Almighty God calls for the noblest and most reverential tribute that music can render." Along with Lowell Mason, Thomas Hastings is generally credited with being the person most influential in shaping the development of church music in the United States during the 19th century.

The composer, Samuel Webbe, born in London, England, was a respected organist in several large Roman Catholic churches in London. He published a number of collections of sacred music suited for Catholic services. His tune, "Consolator", which likely was adapted from an old German melody, first appeared in 1792. The tune reappeared with Hastings' revised text in 1831. This meaningful text with its well-suited music has had an important place in most evangelical hymnals until the present time. - '101 More Hymn Stories' by Kenneth Osbeck


Miriyani Thomas

Kerala, India

When hymns offer companionship, comfort and hope to aching lonely hearts, more than the presence or words of mortals.........


Hephzibah

Montw, IL, United States

I love this song, I learned it from my dad. He is a clergy / pastor, and sings it all the time especially in funerals, to comfort the bereaved and wounded hearts.


Valerie Norberry Vanorden

Kalamazoo, Mi, United States

This song gives me great comfort. I was adopted and my mother was not able to take care of me because she was sick, my biological mother. My adopted family also went through trials and my adopted mom and dad divorced when I was 18. I believe God allowed sorrow in my life to bring the art out of my life. This song reminds me of a proverb which is hard to understand unless you've been there and done that: "The heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddleth with it's joy". In other words, when that bitter spot is finally healed, it is basically a private thing. It cannot be explained casually to a stranger.


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Irish poet Thomas Moore is best known for his ballads like "The Last Rose of Summer" and "Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms." One writer called Moore "one of the strangest of all men to write hymns." The son of a Dublin grocer, Moore was educated at Trinity College in Dublin, but he could not graduate because he was Roman Catholic. After a short career in government, he devoted himself to writing and became known as the "Voice of Ireland." Many were surprised when Moore published his "Sacred Song-Duets" in 1824.

"Come, Ye Disconsolate," which was originally titled "Relief in Prayer," has undergone some revision since Moore wrote it, but the original version contained the same message. - Great Songs of Faith by Brown and Norton


Bob Baer

Brampton, ON, Canada

Because it touches a disconsolate person; one who is perhaps sorely tried and feel alone.

Oh yeah, the tune is also nice and goes along with the theme. The range of the notes from the bottom to the top of the scale mirrors the ups and downs of the person's experience or at least his/her emotional reaction to trials...It rocks. :)

I have to admit it is hard to negotiate the changes from the upper to lower range of notes. I was just trying it.

This is a song that would be good to sing sometimes where the comfort of the saints or some seeking visitors is a theme. But you need to practice it a few times. Also it needs some saints who have trained voices who can help to carry it.