1818–1895
portrait

Ear­ly April 1818, Red­cross, Coun­ty Wick­low, Ire­land.

Oc­to­ber 12, 1895, Lon­don­der­ry, North­ern Ire­land.

Der­ry City Ce­me­te­ry, Lon­don­der­ry, North­ern Ire­land.

portrait

Alexander was the wife of Will­iam Al­ex­an­der, bi­shop of Der­ry and Rap­hoe, and lat­er the Ang­li­can pri­mate for Ire­land.

Cecil and her sis­ter found­ed a school for the deaf, and she set up the Girls’ Friend­ly So­ci­e­ty in Lon­don­der­ry. She wrote about 400 hymns in her life­time. Her works in­clude:

The Creation

Young heart, impatient of thy powers,
Why wilt thou fret to know
That knowledge comes with weary hours,
And heavy step, and slow?

That each thing great in its degree
In toil and care begins,
And no perfection here may be
But that which labor wins?

Perchance ’twas writ to do thee shame,
That He whom angels praise
Paused o’er His fair creation’s frame,
And lingered six long days.

His word at once had hung them there,
Planet, and star, and sun;
Perchance to teach thee patient care,
He made them one by one.

Think how the great world silent lay,
A void and formless place,
God’s Spirit brooding far away
Over the water’s face—

Till bursting on that darkness wide
The glorious light had birth,
And in her beauty and her pride,
He made the fair young earth.

Three days she hung all cold and still,
Wrapped in that sunless light,
No golden luster on the hill,
No silver moon at night.

God made the sun, and in his ray
Sprang flowers by stream and meadow,
On all her heights the sunlight lay,
And on her sward, the shadow.

The graceful moonbeams touched her sod
With slanting silver bars,
Shouted for joy the sons of God,
And sang the morning stars.

Slowly He wrought, and duly set
All things above, below—
Wilt thou, His creature, chide and fret
If thine advance be slow?

Patience, and zeal, and toil He asks—
Then let thine heart be strong,
Nor weary of thy lowly tasks,
Because the time is long.

Cecil Frances Alexander
Poems on Subjects in the
Old Testament
, 1854

  1. All Things Bright and Beau­ti­ful
  2. Angels Stand Around Thy Throne, The
  3. Burial of Mo­ses, The
  4. Christ Has As­cend­ed Up Again
  5. Dear Lord, This Thy Ser­vant’s Day
  6. Do No Sin­ful Action
  7. Eternal Gates Lift Up Their Heads, The
  8. Every Morn­ing the Red Sun
  9. For All Thy Saints, a No­ble Throng
  10. Forgive Them, O My Fa­ther
  11. Forsaken Once, and Thrice De­nied
  12. From Out the Cloud of Am­ber Light
  13. He Is Com­ing, He Is Com­ing
  14. He Is Ris­en
  15. His Are the Thou­sand Spark­ling Rills
  16. How Good Is the Al­migh­ty God
  17. In Na­za­reth in Old­en Times
  18. In the Rich Man’s Gar­den
  19. It Was Ear­ly in the Morn­ing
  20. Jesus Calls Us
  21. O Love Most Pa­tient, Give Me Grace
  22. Once in Beth­le­hem of Ju­dah
  23. Once in Roy­al Da­vid’s Ci­ty
  24. Once in the Town of Beth­le­hem
  25. Pain and Toil Are Ov­er Now
  26. Roseate Hues of Ear­ly Dawn, The
  27. Saints of God Are Ho­ly Men, The
  28. Saw You Ne­ver, in the Twi­light?
  29. So Be It, Lord; the Pray­ers Are Prayed
  30. Souls in Hea­then Dark­ness Ly­ing
  31. Spirit of God, That Moved of Old
  32. St. Pat­rick’s Breast­plate
  33. Still Bright and Blue Doth Jor­dan Flow
  34. There Is a Green Hill Far Away
  35. There Is One Way
  36. Up in Hea­ven
  37. We Are but Li­ttle Child­ren Weak
  38. We Are Lit­tle Chris­tian Child­ren
  39. We Were Washed in Ho­ly Wa­ter
  40. When Christ Came Down on Earth of Old
  41. When of Old the Jew­ish Mo­thers
  42. When Wound­ed Sore the Strick­en Heart
  43. Within the Church­yard, Side by Side