Caswall, Edward, is the translator of many popular hymns. He comes of a literary family. His father and a brother were both clergymen of distinction in the Church of England. He was born at Yateley, in Hampshire, July 15, 1814; graduated at Oxford in 1836; was ordained deacon in the Church of England in 1838; became perpetual curate of Stratford-and-Castle, near Salisbury, in 1840; resigned his ecclesiastical position in the Church of England in 1846 with a view to joining the Roman Catholic Church, which he and his wife did in 1847; became a priest in the Congregation of the Oratory, which Cardinal Newman had established at Birmingham, where he remained until his death, January 2, 1878. His biographer says:
His life was marked by earnest devotion to his clerical duties and a loving interest in the poor, the sick, and in little children. His translations of Latin hymns have a wider circulation in modern hymnals than those of any other translator, Dr. Neale alone excepted. This is owing to his general faithfulness to the originals and the purity of his rhythm, the latter feature specially adapting his hymns to music and for congregational purposes.
His translation from St. Bernard, beginning, |Jesus, the very thought of thee,| is one of the finest in the entire Hymnal. Most of his original hymns are so Romish in doctrinal teaching as to make them unfitted for use in Protestant hymnals. His hymns are found in his Lyra Catholica, 1849; Masque of Mary and Other Poems, 1858; A May Pageant and Other Poems, 1865. The contents of all these volumes are contained in his Hymns and Poems, 1873, many of his hymns being rewritten or revised for this final volume. Four of his translations are in our Hymnal:
Jesus, the very thought of thee 533
My God, I love thee, not because 483
O come, all ye faithful 125
When morning gilds the skies 32