O Thou, the first, the greatest friend

O Thou, the first, the greatest friend

Author: Robert Burns
Tune: SALISBURY (Ravenscroft's Psalmes)
Published in 15 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Of all the human race!
Whose strong right hand has ever been
Their stay and dwelling place!

2 Before the mountains heaved their heads
Beneath Thy forming hand;
Before this ponderous globe itself
Arose at Thy command;

3 That power which raised, and still upholds
This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time,
Was ever still the same.

4 Those mighty periods of years,
Which seem to us so vast,
Appear no more before Thy sight,
Than yesterday that’s past.

5 Thou giv’st the word: Thy creature, man,
Is to existence brought;
Again Thou say’st, Ye sons of men,
Return ye into nought!

6 Thou layest them, with all their cares,
In everlasting sleep;
As with a flood Thou tak’st them off
With overwhelming sweep.

7 They flourish like the morning flower,
In beauty’s pride arrayed;
But long ere night cut down it lies
All withered and decayed.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #12640

Author: Robert Burns

Burns, Robert. This poet's life had little in common with hymnology, although some of his pieces, in common with a few of Byron's, have come into use in Great Britain and America. His life, from his birth in the parish of Alloway, near Ayr, Jan. 25, 1759, to his death, at Dumfries, July 21, 1796, was one of varying lights and shadows, and has been told elsewhere, frequently and eloquently. It remains for us only to name his sacred pieces, their origin, and their use. Those in common use are:— 1. O Thou great Being! What Thou art. Lent. Burns's account of this piece as entered in his Common¬place Book, under the date of "March, 1784," is:— "There was a certain period of my life that my spirit was broken by repeated losses and disaste… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Author: Robert Burns
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



The Cyber Hymnal #12640
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #12640

Include 14 pre-1979 instances
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