Bestow, Dear Lord, Upon Our Youth

Bestow, O Lord, upon our youth

Author: William Cowper
Published in 91 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Bestow, dear Lord, upon our youth
The gift of saving grace;
And let the seed of sacred truth
Fall in a fruitful place.

2 Grace is a plant, where'er it grows,
Of pure and Heav'nly root;
But fairest in the youngest shows,
And yields the sweetest fruit.

3 Ye careless ones, O hear betimes
The voice of sovereign love?
Your youth is stained with many crimes,
But mercy reigns above.

4 True, you are young, but there's a stone
Within the youngest breast;
Or half the crimes which you have done
Would rob you of your rest.

5 For you the public prayer is made,
Oh! join the public prayer!
For you the secret tear is shed,
O shed your selves a tear!

6 We pray that you may early prove
The Spirit's power to teach:
You cannot be too young to love
That Jesus whom we preach.

The Christian's duty, exhibited in a series of hymns, 1791

Author: William Cowper

Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25, 1800. The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hasti… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Bestow, O Lord, upon our youth
Title: Bestow, Dear Lord, Upon Our Youth
Author: William Cowper
Source: Olney Hymns (London, W. Oliver, 1779), Book 2
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Bestow, dear Lord, upon our youth. W. Cowper. [For the Young.] This hymn is the second of three "Hymns before Annual Sermons to Young People, on New Year's Evenings" (the 1st and 3rd being by J. Newton), which were published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book ii., No. 8, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines and signed "C." In Cotterill's Selection, 1810, No. 93, it was given as—-"Bestow, O Lord, upon our youth." Both this form and the original are in common use The original, with the omission of stanza iv., is in the Methodist Free Church Sunday School Hymn Book, No. 155; in full, in the American Presbyterian Psalms & Hymns for the Worship of God, Richmond, 1867, and others. Cotterill’s text, with the omission of stanza iv., is in Stowell's Selection, 1831 and 1877. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #11917
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The Cyber Hymnal #11917

Include 90 pre-1979 instances
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