Keble, John, M.A., was born at Fairford, in Gloucestershire, on St. Mark's Day, 1792. His father was Vicar of Coln St. Aldwin's, about three miles distant, but lived at Fairford in a house of his own, where he educated entirely his two sons, John and Thomas, up to the time of their entrance at Oxford. In 1806 John Keble won a Scholarship at Corpus Christi College, and in 1810 a Double First Class, a distinction which up to that time had been gained by no one except Sir Robert Peel. In 1811 he was elected a Fellow of Oriel, a very great honour, especially for a boy under 19 years of age; and in 1811 he won the University Prizes both for the English and Latin Essays. It is somewhat remarkable that amid this brilliantly successful career,… Go to person page >
This hymn was sung at the marriage of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. It's a good choice for weddings, and is still sung in marriage ceremonies at Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, in the house where Lucy Montgomery wed. Alternate tunes: MATRIMONY, John Stainer, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1889; ST. ALPHEGE, Henry J. Gauntlett, 1852; ST. EDITH, Justin H. Knecht, 1799, & Edward Husband, 1871; WEDDING DAY, Edward G. McCollin, 1895
The voice that breathed o'er Eden. J. Keble. [Holy Matrimony.] Written for and first published in the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857, where it was given as No. 187, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines. In the author's posthumous Miscellaneous Poems, 1869, it is headed "Holy Matrimony. To be sung at the Commencement of the Service," and is dated "July 12, 1857." In Biggs's annotated edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1867, it is rendered into Latin by Lord Lyttelton (1866) as "Elle Edenaeas qui Patris Deus." The original is in extensive use, and is one of the most beautiful of modern hymns for Holy Matrimony.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)