Te lucis ante terminum

Henry Balfour Gardiner

Te lucis ante terminum,
Rerum Creator, poscimus
Ut pro tua clementia
Sis praesul et custodia.

Procul recedant somnia
Et noctium phantasmata,
Hostemque nostrum comprime
Ne polluantur corpora.

Praesta, Pater piissime
Patrique compar unice
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
Regnans per omne saeculum.
Thee, Lord, before the close of day,
Maker of all things, Thee we pray
For Thy dear loving kindness sake
To guard and guide us in Thy way.

Banish the dreams that terrify,
And night's fantastic company:
Keep us from Satan's tyranny:
Defend us from unchastity.

Protect us, Father, God adored,
Thou too, coequal Son and Lord,
Thou, Holy Ghost, our Advocate,
Whose reign can know nor bound nor date.

8th cent. Roman Breviary


Henry Balfour Gardiner (1877-1950)

Educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, he was for a short while a music master at Winchester College. He collected English folk songs and composed a modest amount of very English music. He eventually discontinued his public musical activities in favour of carrying out a programme of afforestation on his farm on the Shaftesbury Downs, two woodland areas of which he gave to the nation, one being Gardiner Forest.