Light on little graves

Within the churchyard, side by side

Author: Cecil Frances Alexander
Tune: ST. ETHELDREDA
Published in 4 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. Within the churchyard, side by side,
Are many long low graves;
And some have stones set over them,
On some the green grass waves.

2. Full many a little Christian child,
Woman, and man, lies there;
And we pass near them every time
When we go in to prayer.

3. They cannot hear our footsteps come,
They do not see us pass;
They cannot feel the warm bright sun
That shines upon the grass.

4. They do not hear when the great bell
Is ringing overhead;
They cannot rise and come to church
With us, for they are dead.

5. But we believe a day shall come
When all the dead will rise,
When they who sleep down in the grass,
Will ope again their eyes.

6. For Christ our Lord was buried once,
He died and rose again,
He conquered death, He left the grave;
And so will Christian men.

7. So when the friends we love the best
Lie in their churchyard bed,
We must not cry too bitterly
Over the happy dead;

8. Because, for our dear Savior’s sake,
Our sins are all forgiv’n;
And Christians only fall asleep
To wake again in Heav’n.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #7152

Author: Cecil Frances Alexander

As a small girl, Cecil Frances Humphries (b. Redcross, County Wicklow, Ireland, 1818; Londonderry, Ireland, 1895) wrote poetry in her school's journal. In 1850 she married Rev. William Alexander, who later became the Anglican primate (chief bishop) of Ireland. She showed her concern for disadvantaged people by traveling many miles each day to visit the sick and the poor, providing food, warm clothes, and medical supplies. She and her sister also founded a school for the deaf. Alexander was strongly influenced by the Oxford Movement and by John Keble's Christian Year. Her first book of poetry, Verses for Seasons, was a "Christian Year" for children. She wrote hymns based on the Apostles' Creed, baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Ten Commandment… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Within the churchyard, side by side
Title: Light on little graves
Author: Cecil Frances Alexander
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

ST. ETHELDREDA

Thomas Turton (b. Hatfield, Yorkshire, England, 1780; d. Westminster, Middlesex, England, 1864) composed ST. ETHELDREDA in 1860; it was published in James Turle's Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1863). Educated at Catharine Hall, Cambridge, England, Turton became a professor of mathematics at C…

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Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #7152
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  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
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Instances

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The Cyber Hymnal #7152

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