BE THOU MY VISION                                                                        written in 1919

 

The Story

This hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” (Old Irish: Rop tú mo baile or Rob tú mo bhoile), is a traditional hymn from Ireland.  The song dates from at least the 8th-century, though it has often been attributed to the 6th-century Irish Christian poet, Saint Dallan.

The most well-known English version, with some minor variations, was translated by Eleanor Hull (1860-1935), a student of Irish studies, and published in 1912.  In 1919, the lyrics were set to the tune of the Irish folk tune “Slane”, to which the song is sung to this day, both in English and Irish.

The Song

            This version is the 1919 version, adapted from the song written over 1,000 years before. But this is the hymn you recognize today.

            Read this hymn, and – today – pray it as your own personal prayer.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;

naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,

waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

 

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

 

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;

Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;

Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:

Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

 

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,

Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,

High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

 

High King of Heaven, my victory won,

May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

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