Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day

Representative Text

1 Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories away:
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou, who changest not, abide with me!

2 Come not in terrors, as the King of kings;
But kind and good, with healing in thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea;
Come, Friend of sinners, and abide with me.

3 I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless,
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is Death's sting? where, Grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

4 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Source: Laudes Domini: a selection of spiritual songs, ancient and modern for use in the prayer-meeting #80

Author: Henry Francis Lyte

Lyte, Henry Francis, M.A., son of Captain Thomas Lyte, was born at Ednam, near Kelso, June 1, 1793, and educated at Portora (the Royal School of Enniskillen), and at Trinity College, Dublin, of which he was a Scholar, and where he graduated in 1814. During his University course he distinguished himself by gaining the English prize poem on three occasions. At one time he had intended studying Medicine; but this he abandoned for Theology, and took Holy Orders in 1815, his first curacy being in the neighbourhood of Wexford. In 1817, he removed to Marazion, in Cornwall. There, in 1818, he underwent a great spiritual change, which shaped and influenced the whole of his after life, the immediate cause being the illness and death of a brother cler… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day
Author: Henry Francis Lyte
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



According to some sources, William H. Monk (PHH 332) wrote EVENTIDE for Lyte's text in ten minutes. As the story goes, Monk was attending a hymnal committee meeting for the 1861 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern of which he was music editor. Realizing that this text had no tune, Monk sat down at t…

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