Thy Word, O Lord, like gentle dews

Representative Text

1 Your Word, O Lord, is gentle dew
To suff'ring hearts that want it;
Oh, shed your heav'nly balm anew,
To all your garden grant it;
Refreshed by you, may every tree
Bud forth and blossom gaily
And fruit and seed bring daily.

2 Your Word is like a flaming sword,
A sharp and mighty arrow,
A wedge that cleaves the rock; that Word
Can pierce through heart and marrow.
Oh, send it forth o'er all the earth,
To purge unrighteous leaven
And cleanse all hearts for heaven.

3 Your Word, a wondrous star, supplies
True guidance when we need it;
It points to Christ and so makes wise
All simple hearts that heed it;
Let not its light e'er sink in night,
But keep it brightly burning,
And fill our deepest yearning.

Source: Lutheran Book of Worship #232

Author: Carl Bernhard Garve

Garve, Carl Bernhard, was born Jan. 24, 1763, at Jeinsen, near Hannover, where his father was a farmer. He was educated at the Moravian schools in Zeist, and Neuwied, at their Pädagogium at Niesky, and their Seminary at Barby. In 1784 he was appointed one of the tutors at Niesky, and in 1789 at Barby; but as his philosophical lectures were thought rather unsettling in their tendency, he was sent, in 1797, to arrange the documents of the archive at Zeist. After his ordination as diaconus of the Moravian church, he was appointed, in 1799, preacher at Amsterdam; in 1801 at Ebersdorf (where he was also inspector of the training school); in 1809 at Berlin; and in 1816 at Neusalza on the Oder. Feeling the burden of years and infirmities he resig… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Thy Word, O Lord, like gentle dews
German Title: Dein Wort, O Herr, ist milder Tau
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Author: Carl Bernhard Garve
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain





WAS GOTT TUT is usually attributed to Severus Gastorius (b. Ottern, near Weimar, Germany, 1646; d. Jena, Germany, 1682), who presumably composed the tune during a convalescence in 1675 (see above). The tune was published in Ausserlesenes Weimarisches Gesangbuch (1681). Educated at the University of…

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