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 >
Awake, awake the sacred song. Anne Steele. [Christmas.] First published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, &c, 1760, vol. i. p. 85, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "The Incarnate Saviour." It was also included in the 1780 edition of the Poems, and in D. Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, 1859. It came into common use by being adopted by Ash and Evans in their Bristol Collection, 1769, No. 88, from whence it passed into a few hymnals. It is still in use in America, and is given in Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872, the Baptist Praise Book, 1871, and Songs for the Sanctuary, 1865, the first omitting stanza vi. and the remaining two stanza iv.