'Tis gone, that bright and orbed blaze

'Tis gone, that bright and orbed blaze

Author: John Keble
Published in 39 hymnals

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Representative Text

1 ’Tis gone, that bright and orbèd blaze,
Fast fading from our wistful gaze;
Yon mantling cloud has hid from sight
The last faint pulse of quivering light.

2 In darkness and in weariness
The traveler on his way must press,
No gleam to watch on tree or tower,
Whiling away the lonesome hour.

3 Sun of my soul! Thou Savior dear,
It is not night if Thou be near:
Oh, may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes!

4 When round Thy wondrous works below
My searching rapturous glance I throw,
Tracing out wisdom, power and love,
In earth or sky, in stream or grove,

5 Or by the light Thy words disclose
Watch time’s full river as it flows,
Scanning Thy gracious providence,
Where not too deep for mortal sense.

6 When with dear friends sweet talk I hold,
And all the flowers of life unfold;
Let not my heart within me burn,
Except in all I Thee discern.

7 When soft the dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
For ever on my Savior’s breast.

8 Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live:
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.

9 Thou framer of the light and dark,
Steer through the tempest Thine own ark:
Amid the howling wintry sea
We are in port if we have Thee.

10 The rulers of this Christian land,
’Twixt Thee and us ordained to stand—
Guide Thou their course, O Lord, aright,
Let all do all as in Thy sight.

11 Oh! by Thine own sad burthen, borne
So meekly up the hill of scorn,
Teach Thou Thy priests their daily cross
To bear as Thine, nor count it loss!

12 If some poor wandering child of Thine
Have spurned today the voice divine,
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin;
Let him no more lie down in sin.

13 Watch by the sick: enrich the poor
With blessings from Thy boundless store:
Be every mourner’s sleep tonight,
Like infants’ slumbers, pure and light.

14 Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take;
Till in the ocean of Thy love
We lose ourselves, in Heaven above.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #1150

Author: John Keble

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 >

Text Information

First Line: 'Tis gone, that bright and orbed blaze
Author: John Keble
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


'Tis gone, that bright and orbed blaze. J. Keble. [Evening.] Dated Nov. 25, 1820, and first published in his Christian Year, 1827, in 14 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed with the text "Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. St. Luke xxiv. 29." The centos from this poem in common use are:—
1. Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear. This cento was given in three stanzas in Elliott's Psalms & Hymns, 1835. This was repeated in numerous hymnals, sometimes in the same form, but usually with additional stanzas, until it has become one of the foremost hymns in the English language. It has been translated into several languages. Those in Latin include, "Sol animae vitaeque meae, praedulcis Jesu" (4 stanzas), by R. Bingham, in his Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871; and "Sol meus! 0 mi Salvator!" (4 stanzas), by H. M. Macgill, in his Songs of the Christian Creed and Life, 1876.
2. The Rulers of this Christian land. This cento, For those in Authority, is in limited use.
3. Thou Framer of the light and dark. This cento "For the High Court of Parliament" is in the 1863 Appendix to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Psalms &Hymns; the Hymnal Companion, and others, and is admirably suited for the purpose.
4. When the soft dews of kindly sleep. This cento for Evening was given in the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857; the Sarum Hymnal, 1868, and others.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #1150
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The Cyber Hymnal #1150

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