Calon Lân (A Pure Heart)

by Aaron Dunlop

I’d not ask a life that’s easy,
Gold and pearls so little mean,
Rather seek a heart that’s joyful,
Heart that’s honest, heart that’s clean.

Heart that’s clean and filled with virtue,
Fairer far than lilies white,
Only pure hearts praise God truly,
Praise him all the day and night.

Why should I seek earthly treasures
On swift wings they fly away
A clean heart enriched with virtues,
Brings to me eternal gain.

Morn and evening my petition,
Wings its flight to heaven in song;
In the name of my Redeemer,
Make my heart clean, pure and strong.

Daniel James

Daniel James (1847 – 1920

Calon Lân is one of the most popular hymns of Welsh Nonconformity. Often sung at Welsh rugby matches – in Welsh! – it has taken on something of the status of a national anthem. But the words of Calon Lân have a deeply spiritual appeal to the Christian. The first verse is a prayer for an honest and pure heart (calon lân), and not for the luxurious life of ease. The second verse compares the illusive riches of this world with the eternal reward of the life of faith and the final verse echoes the general theme; that the prayer of the faithful Christian is for a pure heart. This hymn became popular during the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival. The words are by Daniel James (1847 – 1920) and the tune by John Hughes (1872 – 1914).

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