Story Behind The Hymn, “Be Thou My Vision”

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 earnest prayer is enhanced by such quaint but tender phrases as Lord of my heart, Thy presence my light, and heart of my heart. The text states that when we allow God to have first place in our lives, He becomes our treasure. And we no longer care for the pursuit of riches or mans praise.

The entire Irish poem was first translated into English in 1905 by Mary Bryne, in Dublin, Ireland.

Several years later, Eleanor Hull, a writer of English history and literature, [enned the prose into verse form and included it in her book of poems, The Poem Book of the Gael.

The melody for this hymn is a traditional Irish tune.

Be Thou My Vision Hymn Lyrics

(1) Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Nought 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.

(2)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.

(3)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.

(4)High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joy, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O ruler of all.

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