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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles

Edward Caswell (1814–1878)

EDWARD CASWELL (1814–1878) was born at Yateley, in Hampshire, on the 15th of July, 1814, and was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he graduated with honours in 1836. In 1838 he took Holy Orders, and in 1840 became Incumbent of Stratford-sub-Castle, near Salisbury, where he remained until 1847, when he resigned his incumbency, and three years later entered the Church of Rome, joining Dr. Newman at the Oratory, Edgbaston, Birmingham, where he died on the 2nd of January, 1878. Caswell’s publications include “Lyra Catholica” (1849), a work containing one hundred and ninety-seven translations from the Roman Breviary, Missal, and other sources; “The Masque of Mary and other Poems” (1858), a book containing numerous translations and original hymns; “A May Pageant and other Poems” (1865), including a few more original hymns; and “Hymns and Poems” (1873), a work embodying the three earlier publications, many of the poems of which were revised for republication.

Caswell’s original hymns have not been largely used outside the Roman communion, but some of his translations have attained a popularity second only to that of Dr. Neale’s translations of hymns from Eastern sources. The best known of his original hymns is the following, from “The Masque of Mary” volume.

Among the more popular of Caswell’s translations are the hymns, “Jesu, the very thought of Thee,” “O Jesu, King most wonderful,” “When morning gilds the skies,” and “The sun is sinking fast,” all of which are variously modified from the originals given in “The Masque of Mary and other Poems.”