Be Thou My Vision

"When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal Myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams." Numbers 12:6

Words: Ancient Irish, translated by Mary Elizabeth Byrne, 1905. You may also find a version of the words in Eleanor Hull's Poem Book of the Gael (1912).

Music: "Slane," of Irish folk origin. Slane Hill is about ten miles from Tara in County Meath. It was on Slane Hill around 433 AD that St. Patrick defied a royal edict by lighting candles on Easter Eve. High King Logaire of Tara had decreed that no one could light a fire before Logaire began the pagan spring festival by lighting a fire on Tara Hill. Logaire was so impressed by Patrick's devotion that, despite his defiance (or perhaps because of it?), he let him continue his missionary work. The rest is history.

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 heaven's sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

Saint Patrick

Patrick - 389-461 -  Missionary to Ireland.

Patrick was born in Scotland. His father was a Roman centurion and also a deacon in a local New Testament church. Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave, but he escaped. After his conversion to Christ, he studied on the mainland in Gaul, and then returned to the heathen tribes in Ireland as a missionary.

He began scores of churches and baptized--immersed--thousands of converts. He is largely responsible for the large number of Bible-believing Christians in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England. Patrick, his father, and also his grandfather, were proud of the fact that they were not controlled by the Roman Church, and that they were responsible only to God. Patrick was later canonized by the Roman Church as a political move to control the Irish churches. He was thereafter known as "St. Patrick."

Ruckman '66