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The Valley of the Shadow

Oft in death's shadowy vale, like screen of night

Author: Valdimar Briem; Translator: Charles Venn Pilcher
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

Oft in death's shadowy vale, like screen of night,
Before life's Sun the driving cloud-mists blow;
No way lies open to the halls of light,
The passes stand deep blocked by drifted snow;
Lord, ever let Thy heavens unclouded shine;
Lighten Thy pilgrim's eyes with light divine.

Oft in the narrow rock-girt paths of life,
The weary will would fail, the strength would flee;
I stagger weakened by the unceasing strife,
Fainting I fall, unless Thou succour me:
What time the o'erburdened spirit dreads defeat,
O champion her, Thou heavenly Paraclete.

Oft mid the noisy tumult of the world
No more I hear the angels' healing song,
Only the torrents' threatening roar, where hurled
In rapids time's swift stream is borne along:
Lord, o'er the surge of waters rude and wild,
Grant me to hear Thy call, "My child! My child!"

When o'er mine eyelids steals the long last sleep,
Thy face's unveiled glory would I see;
The weary flesh seeks rest in slumber deep,
With might, O let my spirit strengthened be.
Earth's voices fade; deep mid the peace of heaven,
Speak, Lord, the assuring words, "Arise, forgiven!"

Author: Valdimar Briem

Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 1, 1848, Grund, Ice­land. Died: May 3, 1930, Stó­ri-Nú­pur, Ice­land. Briem at­tend­ed the The­o­lo­gic­al Sem­in­ary in Reyk­ja­vik, was or­dained in 1873, and in 1880 be­came pas­tor of the Stó­ri-Nú­pur par­ish, where he served for three de­cades. In 1909, he be­came vice-bi­shop of Skál­holt. The 1886 Ice­lan­dic hym­nal has 102 orig­in­al hymns by Briem, and 39 of his trans­la­tions. Lyrics: Hve dryalegur er Drott­inn (How Mar­vel­ous God’s Great­ness) Lord, Let Thy Spir­it © The Cyber Hymnal™ ( Go to person page >

Translator: Charles Venn Pilcher

Pilcher, Charles Venn. (Oxford, June 4, 1879--July 4, 1961, Sydney, Australia). Anglican. Grandnephew of Charlotte Elliott. Hertford College, Oxford, B.A., 1902; M.A., 1905; B.D., 1909; D.D., 1921. Curacies at Birmingham, 1903-1905; St. James, Toronto, 1910-1916; taught theology at Auckland Castle, England, 1905-1906, and at Wycliffe College, Toronto, 1916-1936. Elected coadjutor bishop of Sydney, Australia, at the instance of a former Wycliffe colleague, Archbishop Mowll. He composed hymn tunes and other music, and long played bass clarinet in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Also, he translated and published much devotional material from Iceland, notably Iceland Christian Classics (1950). These side interests, like his hymn writing, merely… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Oft in death's shadowy vale, like screen of night
Title: The Valley of the Shadow
Author: Valdimar Briem
Translator: Charles Venn Pilcher
Language: English