The Reed

When flowers are red and gold and white

Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

When flowers are red and gold and white,
And fair is every weed,
The green reeds have no blossom bright—
I would not be a reed.

For all the summer flowers declare
In beauty men can see,
How sweet, how glorious, how fair,
The thoughts of God must be.

Then cut a wandering shepherd boy
A hollow pipe of reed;
His little tune of mirth and joy
Rang far across the mead.

It was the gladness of his heart
That flowed in music free,
The wild bird has no sweeter art
That sings upon the tree.

Oh, could I be the little reed,
To tell afar and near
The joy and love of God above,
In music sweet and clear!

And all around should hear the sound,
And know that love Divine
Is not my own, but God’s alone,
His music, and not mine.

Sweet words should cheer the weary ear,
And tender words the sad,
And none should heed how small the reed;
God’s love would make them glad.

Source: Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series) #144

Translator: Frances Bevan

Bevan, Emma Frances, née Shuttleworth, daughter of the Rev. Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New Coll., Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, was born at Oxford, Sept. 25, 1827, and was married to Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm, in 1856. Mrs. Bevan published in 1858 a series of translations from the German as Songs of Eternal Life (Lond., Hamilton, Adams, & Co.), in a volume which, from its unusual size and comparative costliness, has received less attention than it deserves, for the trs. are decidedly above the average in merit. A number have come into common use, but almost always without her name, the best known being those noted under “O Gott, O Geist, O Licht dea Lebens," and "Jedes Herz will etwas… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When flowers are red and gold and white
Title: The Reed
Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


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Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series) #144

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