Anne Steele was born at Broughton, Hampshire, in 1717. Her father was a timber merchant, and at the same time officiated as the lay pastor of the Baptist Society at Broughton. Her mother died when she was 3. At the age of 19 she became an invalid after injuring her hip. At the age of 21 she was engaged to be married but her fiance drowned the day of the wedding. On the occasion of his death she wrote the hymn "When I survey life's varied scenes." After the death of her fiance she assisted her father with his ministry and remained single. Despite her sufferings she maintained a cheerful attitude. She published a book of poetry Poems on subjects chiefly devotional in 1760 under the pseudonym "Theodosia." The remaining works were published a… Go to person page >
When blooming youth is snatched away. Anne Steele. [Death and Burial of a Young Person.] First published in her Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, &c, 1760, vol. i. p. 106, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "At the Funeral of a Young Person." Also given in the 1780 edition of the Poems, and in D. Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, &c., 1863, p. 66. The form of the text usually found in American hymn-books is "When those we love are snatched away." This was given in the Prayer Book Collection, 1826, in 5 stanzas, and is found in later hymnals. Another arrangement in 3 stanzas is in use in Great Britain. It appeared in Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833, as "When youth or age is snatched away." The text in Common Praise, 1879, is in 5 stanzas, the last of the original being omitted, and the rest somewhat altered.