What are the lyrics to the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’?

Did you know the origins of the popular hymn 'Be Thou My Vision' are Irish and date back to the sixth century? Here are its well known lyrics

Be thou my vision lyrics

Who wrote the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’?

Irish in origin  the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’ is based on the poem ‘Rop tú mo Baile’, believed to have been written by the sixth-century poet St. Dallán Forgaill. It has been translated into modern Irish many times but It was first translated into English in 1905 by Mary Byrne 

Advertisement

However it is Eleanor Hull 1912’s version, or rather we should say versions, that are most popular today One is the version that is used in Irish and Scottish hymnals, which fits the metre 10.10.10.10, while the other is most commonly used in English books (such as the New English Hymnal) fits the metre 10.11.11.11. Since 1919 it has been commonly sung to an Irish folk tune, “Slane’

What are the lyrics to the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’?

English version of ‘Be Thou My Vision’

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tow’r:
Raise Thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Scottish and Irish versions of ‘Be Thou My Vision’

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Be all else but naught to me, save that Thou art;
Be Thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Both waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
Be Thou ever with me, and I with Thee, Lord;
Be Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
Be Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my Breastplate, my Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my whole Armor, be Thou my true Might;
Be Thou my soul’s Shelter, be Thou my strong Tow’r,
O raise Thou me heav’nward, great Pow’r of my pow’r.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
Be Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Be Thou and Thou only the first in my heart,
O high King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

Advertisement

High King of heaven, Thou heaven’s bright Sun,
O grant me its joys, after vict’ry is won;
Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be Thou my vision, O Ruler of all.