O King of earth, and air, and sea

O King of earth, and air, and sea

Author: Reginald Heber
Published in 12 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 O King of earth and air and sea!
The hungry ravens cry to Thee;
To Thee the scaly tribes that sweep
The bosom of the boundless deep;

2 To Thee the lions roaring call,
The common Father, kind to all!
Then grant Thy servants, Lord! we pray,
Our daily bread from day to day!

3 The fishes may for food complain;
The ravens spread their wings in vain;
The roaring lions lack and pine;
But God! Thou carest still for Thine!

4 Thy bounteous hand with food can bless
The bleak and lonely wilderness;
And Thou hast taught us, Lord! to pray
For daily bread from day to day!

5 And oh, when through the wilds we roam
That part us from our heavenly home;
When, lost in danger, want or woe,
Our faithless tears begin to flow;

6 Do Thou Thy gracious comfort give,
By which alone the soul may live;
And grant Thy servants, Lord! we pray,
The bread of life from day to day!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #10896

Author: Reginald Heber

Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today. -- Greg Scheer, 1995… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O King of earth, and air, and sea
Author: Reginald Heber
Copyright: Public Domain


O King of earth, and air, and sea. Bishop R. Heber. [Lent.] Appeared in his posthumous Hymns, &c, 1827, p. 55, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and appointed for the 4th Sunday in Lent. Although apparently based upon the petition in the Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," it was doubtless suggested by the Gospel of the day, the feeding of the five thousand (John vi. 1). It is in common use in Great Britain and America. In the American Unitarian Book of Hymns, 1848, No. 492, it begins with stanza iv., "Thy bounteous hand with food can bless."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



JORDAN (Barnby)

One of the 246 hymn tunes by Joseph Barnby (PHH 438), JORDAN was published in The Hymnary (1872) as a setting for "Sing to the Lord a Joyful Song." JORDAN contains several repeated phrases. Barnby originally composed the tune to be sung in harmony with phrases 5 and 7 sung in unison, although the fu…

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The Cyber Hymnal #10896
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #10896

Include 11 pre-1979 instances
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