Dear Friend of Hymnary,

As you know, we don't ask for money too often. But we're asking now.

So before you hit the "close" button on this box, please consider a donation to keep Hymnary going.

More than half a million people come here every month -- worship leaders, hymnologists, hymn lovers and more -- people who now have access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet thanks to this site. But keeping all of this afloat does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue. So if you benefit from, would you please consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by clicking the Donate button below, or you can send a check to Hymnary at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary team,
Harry Plantinga

Come unto me when shadows darkly gather

Full Text

1 Come unto Me, when shadows darkly gather,
When the sad heart is weary and distressed;
Seeking for comfort from your heav'nly Father,
Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.

2 Ye who have mourned when the tender flowers were taken,
When the ripe fruit fell richly to the ground,
When the loved slept, in brighter homes to waken,
Where their pale brows with spirit-wreaths are crowned,

3 Large are the mansions in thy Father’s dwelling,
Glad are the homes that sorrows never dim;
Sweet are the harps in holy music swelling,
Soft are the tones which raise the heavenly hymn.

4 There like an Eden blossoming in gladness,
Bloom the fair flowers the earth too rudely pressed:
Come unto Me, all ye who droop in sadness,
Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.


Source: The Hymnal and Order of Service #523

Author: Catherine Harbison Waterman Esling

Esling, Catherine H., née Watterman, was born in 1812, and married in 1840 to George J. Esling, of Philadelphia. Her poems were collected and published in 1850 as The Broken Bracelet, and other Poems. She is widely known as the author of "Come unto Me, when shadows darkly gather" (Invitation), which appeared in the Christian Keepsake annual, 1839, in 9 stanzas of 4 lines. It is usually given in an abbreviated form. Mrs. Esling is a member of the American Protestant Episcopal Church. (Nutter, 1884, p. 253.) --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)  Go to person page >

Text Information



The Cyber Hymnal #1128
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
The Baptist Hymnal: for use in the church and home #678
The Cyber Hymnal #1128TextScoreAudio
Include 237 pre-1979 instances