Walter Shirley was born in 1725. He was the friend of Whitefield and Wesley. After preaching with great success in England, he received the living of Loughrea, Ireland, where he continued to exercise his ministry for many years. His last sickness was of a lingering character, and it is related of him that when no longer able to leave his house he used to preach, seated in his chair in his drawing room, to many who gladly assembled to hear. He died in 1786. He published one volume of sermons and two poems.
--Annotations of the Hymnal by The Rev. Charles L. Hutchins, M.A. (1872).… Go to person page >
Sweet as the Shepherd's tuneful reed. W. Shirley. [Spring.] Published in The Collection of Hymns sung in the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapels, Bath, W. Gye, N. D. (circa 1773), No. 86, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines. In common with all the hymns in that Collection it is anonymous; but in the Life of the Countess, 1839, vol. ii. p. 291, it is definitely stated to be by W. Shirley. The most widely known form of this hymn begins with stanzas ii., "Peace, troubled soul, whose plaintive moan." It is composed of stanzas ii., iii., and appeared in the American Prayer Book Collection, 1826, No. 130. It is repeated in several American hymn-books.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)