John Bunyan (1628–1688)
HE that is down needs fear no fall,
He that is low no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave
Because thou savest such.
Fulness to such a burden is
That go on to pilgrimage;
Here little and hereafter bliss
Is best from age to age.
Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919), Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse, 1903. From “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” Part II. This sweet little song has no less sweet a setting. “Now as they were going along and talking, they espied a Boy feeding his Father’s Sheep. The Boy was in very mean Cloaths, but of a very fresh and well-favoured Countenance, and as he sate by himself he sung. Hark, said Mr Greatheart, to what the Shepherd’s boy saith. So they hearkened, and he said—“He that is down needs fear no fall,” etc.
Ordained Servant Online, November 2017.