Anne Steele was born at Broughton, Hampshire, in 1717. Her father was a timber merchant, and at the same time officiated as the lay pastor of the Baptist Society at Broughton. Her mother died when she was 3. At the age of 19 she became an invalid after injuring her hip. At the age of 21 she was engaged to be married but her fiance drowned the day of the wedding. On the occasion of his death she wrote the hymn "When I survey life's varied scenes." After the death of her fiance she assisted her father with his ministry and remained single. Despite her sufferings she maintained a cheerful attitude. She published a book of poetry Poems on subjects chiefly devotional in 1760 under the pseudonym "Theodosia." The remaining works were published a… Go to person page >
Alas! what hourly dangers rise. Anne Steele. [Watchfulness.] First published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. pp. 79-80, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "Watchfulness and Prayer," Matt. xxvi. 7 It was also reprinted in subsequent editions of the Poems, and in Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, 1863. In Williams & Boden's Collection, 1801, No. 362, it was abbreviated to 4 stanzas, and this example has been mostly followed to the present day. Its use in Great Britain is very limited; but in America it is somewhat extensive, and varies in length from 3 to 5 stanzas, the Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, No. 637, being an exception in favour of the complete text, with the single alteration of " my" to "mine eyes" in stanza 1.