Hymn #222: My Song Is Love Unknown

Samuel Crossman (c. 1624-1684) first published this text in seven stanzas in The Young Man’s Meditation (1664), a book of nine poems, but not until the nineteenth century did the text receive acceptance as a hymn.  Some scholars have speculated that the phrase “love unknown” is derived from a poem by George Herbert.

Samuel Crossman was one of the first English authors to write hymns that were not based on the psalms.  He was dismissed from the Anglican ministry because of his support of the Puritans, but later reversed himself, was reinstated, and was appointed as chaplain to the king.

John David Edwards (1806-1885) named this tune LOVELY when it was first published in 1838.  However, it appeared as RHOSYMEDRE with Crossman’s text in Songs of Praise Enlarged (1931) to commemorate the town in Wales where Edwards served as rector for many years.

John D. Edwards, ordained an Anglican priest in 1832, was vicar for many years at Rhosymedre, Ruabon, North Wales.  In addition to his parish duties, he composed liturgical music for use during worship.  In 1836, he published his major work, Original Sacred Music, in two volumes.