1 When through the torn sail the wild tempest is streaming,
When o'er the dark wave the red lightning is gleaming,
Nor hope lends a ray the poor seaman to cherish,
We fly to our Maker: "Help, Lord, or we perish!"
2 O Jesus, once rocked on the breast of the billow,
Aroused by the shriek of despair from Thy pillow,
Now seated in glory, the mariner cherish,
Who cries in his anguish, "Help, Lord, or we perish!"
3 And O, when the whirlwind of passion is raging,
When sin in our hearts its wild warfare is waging,
Arise in Thy strength, Thy redeemèd to cherish;
Rebuke the destroyer: "Help, Lord, or we perish!"
Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today.
-- Greg Scheer, 1995… Go to person page >
Display Title: When Through the Torn SailFirst Line: When through the torn sail the wild tempest is ragingTune Title: IN STORMAuthor: Reginald Heber, 1783-1826Meter: 220.127.116.11Source: Published posthumously in Hymns Written and Adapted to the Weekly Service of the Church Year (London: J. Murray, 1827)