When, doomed to death, the Apostle lay

Representative Text

1 When, doomed to die, th'Apostle lay
At night in Herod's dungeon cell,
A light shone round him like the day,
And from his limbs the fetters fell.

2 A messenger from God was there,
To break his chain and bid him rise;
And lo! the saint, as free as air,
Walked forth beneath the open skies.

3 Chains yet more strong and cruel bind
The victim of that deadly thirst
Which drowns the soul, and from the mind
Blots the bright image stamped at first.

4 O God of love and mercy, deign
To look on those with pitying eye
Who struggle with that fatal chain,
And send them succor from on high!

5 Send down, in its resistless might,
Thy gracious Spirit, we implore,
And lead the captive forth to light,
A rescued soul, a slave no more!


The Hymnal: revised and enlarged as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892

Author: William Cullen Bryant

Bryant, William Cullen. First in order of time of the great American poets, Bryant was born at Cummington, Mass., Nov. 3, 1794, and was educated at Williams College. In 1815 he'was called to the Bar, and practised for a time at Great Barrington. In 1825 he retired from the Bar, settled at New York, and devoted himself to literary pursuits, founding the New York Review, and editing for a short time the New York Evening Post. He died June 12, 1878. His poetical and other works are well known. His hymns were written at intervals during his long life. They were collected and privately printed in 1869, and number over 20. Those in common use are:— 1. Almighty, listen while we raise. Praise. This is given as "Almighty hear us,” &c,… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When, doomed to death, th'Apostle lay
Title: When, doomed to death, the Apostle lay
Author: William Cullen Bryant
Language: English



William Knapp (b. Wareham, Dorsetshire, England, 1698; d. Poole, Dorsetshire, 1768) composed WAREHAM, so named for his birthplace. A glover by trade, Knapp served as the parish clerk at St. James's Church in Poole (1729-1768) and was organist in both Wareham and Poole. Known in his time as the "coun…

Go to tune page >



Lowell Mason (PHH 96) composed HAMBURG (named after the German city) in 1824. The tune was published in the 1825 edition of Mason's Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. Mason indicated that the tune was based on a chant in the first Gregorian tone. HAMBURG is a very simple tune with…

Go to tune page >



Instances (1 - 19 of 19)

Gloria in Excelsis #d750

Gloria in Excelsis #d467

Page Scan

Hymn Book of the United Evangelical Church #505

Page Scan

Hymn-Book of the Evangelical Association #722

Page Scan

Hymnal of the Methodist Episcopal Church #900

Page Scan

Hymnal of the Methodist Episcopal Church #900

Page Scan

In Excelsis: hymns with tunes for Christian worship #724

Page Scan

New Manual of Praise: for Sabbath and Social Worship #456

Page Scan

Sursum Corda: a book of praise #849

The Evangelical Hymn and Tune Book #d808

The Temperance Song Banner #d80

Page Scan

The Westminster Hymnal for congregational and social use and for the Sunday School #272

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us