Shepherd of Tender Youth

Representative Text

1 Shepherd of tender youth,
guiding in love and truth
through devious ways,
Christ, our triumphant King,
we come your name to sing
and here our children bring
to join your praise.

2 You are our holy Lord,
Christ, the incarnate Word,
healer of strife.
You did yourself abase
that from sin's deep disgrace
you might now save our race,
and give us life.

3 You are the great High Priest,
you have prepared the feast
of holy love;
and in our mortal pain
none calls on you in vain;
our plea do not disdain;
help from above.

4 O ever be our guide,
our shepherd and our pride,
our staff and song.
Jesus, O Christ of God,
by your enduring Word
lead us where you have trod;
make our faith strong.

5 So now and till we die
sound we your praises high
and joyful sing:
infants and all the throng
who to your Church belong,
unite to swell the song
to Christ, our King!

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #756

Translator: Henry Martyn Dexter

Dexter, Henry Martyn, D.D., born at Plympton, Mass., Aug. 13, 1821, and educated at Yale College, and Andover. In 1844 he was ordained Pastor of a Congregational Church at Manchester, New Haven. In 1849 he removed to the Berkeley Street Congregational Church, Boston, where he remained until his appointment as Editor of the Congregationalist, in 1867. Dr. Dexter is the translator of “Shepherd of tender youth" [see Clemens, Titus], in common usage in Great Britain and America.  [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.] -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)  Go to person page >

Author: Clement of Alexandria

Clemens, Titus Flavins (Clemens Alexandrinus), St. Clement of Alexandria, was born possibly at Athens (although on this point there is no certain information) about A.D. 170. His full name, Titus Flavins Clemens, is given by Eusebius (H. E., vi. 13) and Photius (Cod. Ill), but of his parentage there is no record. Studious, and anxious to satisfy his mind on the highest subjects, he is said to have been a Stoic and Eclectic, and a seeker after truth amongst Greek, Assyrian, Egyptian, and Jewish teachers. He himself enumerates six teachers of eminence under whom he studied the "true tradition of the blessed doctrine of the holy apostles." At Alexandria he came under the teaching of Pantsenus, and embraced Christianity, Pantsenus being at the… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Shepherd of tender youth
Title: Shepherd of Tender Youth
Greek Title: Στόμον πώλων ἀϐαων
Author: Clement of Alexandria (ca200)
Translator: Henry Martyn Dexter (1846)
Language: English
Notes: Earliest Christian hymn attributed to an identifiable author. Spanish translation: See "Oh, tierno y buen Pastor" by Federico Pagura
Copyright: Public Domain




Felice de Giardini (b. Turin, Italy, 1716; d. Moscow, Russia, 1796) composed ITALIAN HYMN in three parts for this text at the request of Selina Shirley, the famous evangelically minded Countess of Huntingdon. Giardini was living in London at the time and contributed this tune and three others to Mar…

Go to tune page >




Instances (1 - 14 of 14)

Ambassador Hymnal #385

TextPage Scan

Christian Worship (1993) #515

TextPage Scan

Christian Worship #756

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #55

Clarion Call #7

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #166

Hymnal #480

TextPage Scan

Lutheran Service Book #864


Lutheran Worship #471

Praise for the Lord (Expanded Edition) #576

Text InfoTextPage Scan

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #555


The Cyber Hymnal #6032


Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #160

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #258

Include 264 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us