Godfrey Thring (b. Alford, Somersetshire, England, 1823; d. Shamley Green, Guilford, Surrey, England, 1903) was born in the parsonage of Alford, where his father was rector. Educated at Balliol College, Oxford, England, he was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1847. After serving in several other parishes, Thring returned to Alford and Hornblotten in 1858 to succeed his father as rector, a position he retained until his own retirement in 1893. He was also associated with Wells Cathedral (1867-1893). After 1861 Thring wrote many hymns and published several hymnals, including Hymns Congregational (1866), Hymns and Sacred Lyrics (1874), and the respected A Church of England Hymn Book Adapted to the Daily Services of the Church… Go to person page >
The radiant morn hath passed away. G. Thring. [Afternoon.] Written in 1864, and first published in his Hymns Congregational and Others, 1866, p. 66; and again in his Hymns & Lyrics, 1874, p. 137, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines. It was adopted as the opening hymn of the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient & Modern, and has since then been included in numerous collections in Great Britain and America. In Hymns Ancient & Modern it is set to special music by Sir F. A. G. Ouseley, Bart. This tune is known as “St. Gabriel."
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
The radiant morn hath passed away, p. 1156, i. Under date of Oct. 24, 1899, the late Preb. Thring requested the Hymnal Committee of the S.P.C.K. to substitute the following as the second stanza in this hymn, in the then forthcoming revision of Church Hymns, for the stanza usually found in the hymnals, including his own:—
"Our life is but an autumn sun
Its glorious noon how quickly past;
Lead Us, O Christ, our life-work done,
Safe home at last."
"This," added Preb. Thring, "is my last and final emendation of this verse." This request was acceded to by the Committee as seen in the 1903 edition of Church Hymns, No. 31. This text is also in The English Hymnal, 1906. The text of the 1904 edition of Hymns A. & M. is that of Thring's Hymn Book, 1882.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)