1 Long ago to Bethlehem,
From afar returning,
Came Naomi, sore bereaved,
For the homeland yearning.
Ruth, her daughter, clave to her,
Idol gods forsaking;
Lo, she seeks the harvest field,
As the day is breaking.
See the reapers bending low,
See the wheat sheaves leaning;
See the Moabitess go,
Gleaning, gleaning, gleaning.
2 Happy Ruth with ready hands,
Gleans along the borders,
Let some handfuls fall for her,
Hear the master’s orders.
Sweet, unselfish, trustful one,
When the shadows lengthen,
Rich reward awaiteth thee,
Faith and hope to strengthen. [Refrain]
3 Like this gleaner may we be,
Faithful in our calling;
Other hands may bind the sheaves
Where the wheat is falling.
But the gleaners have their place,
Precious handfuls saving,
In the golden harvest fields,
Where the grain is waving. [Refrain]
Julia Harriet Johnston, who was born on Jan. 21, 1849, at Salineville, OH, in Columbiana County. Her father was a minister and he mother was a poet. She began writing when she was nine years old but really started writing verse in high school. She lived in Peoria, Ill.
Dianne Shapiro, from "The Singers and Their Songs: sketches of living gospel hymn writers" by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (Chicago: The Rodeheaver Company, 1916) Go to person page >
Display Title: Ruth The GleanerFirst Line: Long ago to BethlehemTune Title: EMBARCADEROAuthor: Julia H. JohnstonMeter: 76.76.76 DSource: Bible Study Songs, by Bertha F. Vella and Daniel. B. Towner (Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1899)