A Pure Heart
I do not ask for a life of luxury,
The world’s gold, or fine pearls.
All I ask for is a happy heart,
An honest heart, a pure heart.
A pure heart is full of goodness,
Lovelier than the pretty lily.
Only a pure heart can sing,
Sing by day and sing by night.
This prayer is a translation of the first verse and chorus of the much loved Welsh hymn, Calon Lân, which many of you will have heard sung with great passion by Welsh rugby supporters. Indeed, it is said that to be truly Welsh, you must sing the hymn by heart whenever an opportunity arises! The words are by Daniel James [1847-1920], known by the bardic name, Gwyrosydd, and the hymn is set to a lovely tune by John Hughes [1872-1914].
The hymn-writer’s prayer for a pure heart [calon lân] with which to praise God day and night, reminds us of the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God’ [Matthew, 5,8].
And, here are the words of the first verse and chorus in Welsh:
Nid wy’n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Aur y byd na’i berlau mân:
Gofyn rwyf am galon hapus
Calon onest, calon lân
Calon lân yn llawn daioni,
Tecach yw na’r lili dlos:
Dim ond calon lân all ganu-
Canu’r dydd a chanu’r nos.