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O Holy Lord, content to live

O Holy Lord, content to live

Author: William Walsham How
Published in 40 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 O holy Lord, content to fill
In lowly home the lowliest place,
Thy childhood’s law a mother’s will,
Obedience meek thy brightest grace;

2 Lead every child that bears thy Name
To walk in thine own guileless way,
To dread the touch of sin and shame,
And humbly, like thyself, obey.

3 Gather thy lambs within thine arm,
And gently in thy bosom bear;
Keep them, O Lord, from hurt and harm,
And bid them rest forever there.

4 So shall they waiting here below,
Like thee their Lord, a little span,
In wisdom and in stature grow,
And favor with both God and man.


Source: Service Book and Hymnal of the Lutheran Church in America #334

Author: William Walsham How

How, William Walsham, D.D., son of William Wybergh How, Solicitor, Shrewsbury, was born Dec. 13, 1823, at Shrewsbury, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A. 1845). Taking Holy Orders in 1846, he became successively Curate of St. George's, Kidderminster, 1846; and of Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, 1848. In 1851 he was preferred to the Rectory of Whittington, Diocese of St. Asaph, becoming Rural Dean in 1853, and Hon. Canon of the Cathedral in 1860. In 1879 he was appointed Rector of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, and was consecrated Suffragan Bishop for East London, under the title of the Bishop of Bedford, and in 1888 Bishop of Wakefield. Bishop How is the author of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Commen… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Holy Lord, content to live
Author: William Walsham How
Language: English


O Holy Lord, content to live [dwell —fill]. Bishop W. W. How. [A Child's Hymn.] Written in 1850, and 1st published in The Parish Choir in 1851. In 1854 it was repeated in Morrell & How's Psalms & Hymns, No. 65, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines. When included in Hymns Ancient & Modern, in 1861, considerable alterations were made in the text, and it began, "O Holy Lord, content to dwell.” This first line, but not the alterations in detail, was adopted in the enlarged edition of Morrell & How's Psalms & Hymns, 1864. For the S. P. C. K. Church Hymns, 1871, it was again rewritten, this time by Bishop How, as “O Holy Lord, content to fill." This is the author's authorised text, and is repeated in his Hymns, 1886. All these texts are in common use.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




Derived from the fourth piano piece in Robert A. Schumann's Nachtstücke, Opus 23 (1839), CANONBURY first appeared as a hymn tune in J. Ireland Tucker's Hymnal with Tunes, Old and New (1872). The tune, whose title refers to a street and square in Islington, London, England, is often matched to Haver…

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BROOKFIELD (Southgate)



The Cyber Hymnal #4980
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
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The Cyber Hymnal #4980TextScoreAudio
Include 39 pre-1979 instances