This ancient 8th century hymn text from Ireland is still meaningful for us today with its expression of a yearning for the presence and leading of God in our lives. The poem was first translated into English in 1905 by Mary Byrne in Dublin. Several years later, Eleanor Hull, a writer of English history, penned the prose into verse form and included in it ‘The Poem Book of the Gael’. The melody is to the traditional tune, ‘Slane’.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, in the day and 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, and I Thy true heir;
Thou in me dwelling, and I in thy care.
Riches I heed not, nor all the world’s praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure
My treasure, my treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, when battle is done,
Grant heaven’s joy to me, bright Heaven’s Sun!
Christ of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
Text Irish (8th C.) tr. Mary E. Byrne
1905, Elizabeth Hull’s Poem Book of the Gael, 1912 alt. text
Music trad. arrangement b McLeish, Boyce & Stanley
Copyright © 2007 CJM MUSIC
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