Who Is This, So Weak and Helpless

Representative Text

1 Who is this so weak and helpless,
child of lowly Hebrew maid,
rudely in a stable sheltered,
coldly in a manger laid?
'Tis the Lord of all creation,
who this wondrous path hath trod;
he is God from everlasting,
and to everlasting God.

2 Who is this - a Man of Sorrows,
walking sadly life's hard way;
homeless, weary, sighing, weeping
over sin and Satan's sway?
'Tis our God, our glorious Saviour,
who beyond our mortal sight
now for us a place prepareth
free from grief and full of light.

3 Who is this - behold him raining
drops of blood upon the ground?
Who is this - despised, rejected,
mocked, insulted, beaten, bound?
'Tis our God, who gifts and graces
on his Church now poureth down;
all his faithful ones empowering
to partake in cross and crown.

4 Who is this that hangeth dying,
while the thieves on either side?
Nails his hands and feet are tearing,
and the spear hath pierced his side.
'Tis the God who ever liveth
'mid the shining ones on high,
in the glorious golden city,
reigning everlastingly.

Source: Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #748

Author: William Walsham How

How, William Walsham, D.D., son of William Wybergh How, Solicitor, Shrewsbury, was born Dec. 13, 1823, at Shrewsbury, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A. 1845). Taking Holy Orders in 1846, he became successively Curate of St. George's, Kidderminster, 1846; and of Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, 1848. In 1851 he was preferred to the Rectory of Whittington, Diocese of St. Asaph, becoming Rural Dean in 1853, and Hon. Canon of the Cathedral in 1860. In 1879 he was appointed Rector of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, and was consecrated Suffragan Bishop for East London, under the title of the Bishop of Bedford, and in 1888 Bishop of Wakefield. Bishop How is the author of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Commen… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Who is this, so weak and helpless
Title: Who Is This, So Weak and Helpless
Author: William Walsham How
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Who is this so weak and helpless? Bishop W. W. How. [Life and Death of Jesus.] This very beautiful hymn in the form of question and answer, on the Life and Death of our Blessed Lord, was published in the 1867 Supplement to Morrell and How's Psalms & Hymns, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. It was revised by Bishop How for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871. It is found in a large number of modern hymnals. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



John Ambrose Lloyd (b. Mold, Flintshire, Wales, 1815; d. Liverpool, England, 1874) [composed] EIFIONYDD. The tune...appeared in Ieuan Gwyllt's (John Roberts's) important tune book Llyfr Tonau Cynulleidfaol (1859). Largely self-taught, Lloyd was a major presence in the Welsh music scene of his day. H…

Go to tune page >

EBENEZER (Williams)

ST. JOHN'S (54565)



The Cyber Hymnal #7424
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 5 of 5)
TextPage Scan

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #748

Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #556


The Cyber Hymnal #7424

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #474

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #239

Include 33 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us