Be Thou, O God, by night, by day,
My guard, my guide from sin,
My life, my trust, my light divine,
To keep me pure within.
Pure as the air, when day’s first light
A cloudless sky illumes,
And active as the lark that soars
Till heaven shines round its plumes.
So may my soul, upon the wings
Of faith, unwearied rise,
Till at the gate of heaven it sings,
’Midst light from Paradise.
Be Thou, O God, by night, by day. [Morning.] This anonymous hymn, which is given in many American collections, has not been traced beyond Cheever's American Commonplace Book of Poetry, N. Y. 1831. It is in the Plymouth Collection, 1855; Longfellow and Johnson's Hymns of the Spirit, 1864; and others, in 3 stanzas of 4 lines, but always as "Anon.” [William T. Brooke]
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)