This proposed verse for one the most popular Anglican hymns (we sing it frequently on Sunday mornings) grabbed my attention this morning --- and now I'm afraid it's going to come to mind each time the organist launches the introduction.
First published in 1848 and generally sung to a hymn tune composed in 1887, it has --- among other things --- provided a title for the fictionalized adventures, adapted for film and television, of a real-life Yorkshire veterinarian (James Alfred Wight) who used the pen name James Herriot.
This isn't the first time alterations have been made to the text, based on what was considered appropriate then and what is considered appropriate now. The following original stanza has for the most part vanished.
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.
Has the time come for "every mildew spore that blossoms" and other creepy-crawly things to have their place in hymnody? I can't really say.