April 21, 1783, Malpas, Cheshire, England.

April 3, 1826, Trichinopoly (Tiruchirappalli), Tamil Nadu, India, of a cerebral hemorrhage while bathing.

St. John’s Church, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India (north side of the altar).

Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
© National Portrait Gallery

Heber attended Brasenose College, Oxford, where he won a number of awards in English and Latin. He received a fellowship to All Souls College, and later became Rector at Hodnet, Shropshire, England. In 1823, he became, somewhat reluctantly, Bishop of Calcutta (Kolkata), India. Most of his hymns were not published until after his death; 57 of them appeared in Hymns Written and Adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (London: J. Murray, 1827).


The sound of war! In earth and air
The volleying thunders roll:
Their fiery darts the Fiends prepare,
And dig the pit, and spread the snare,
Against the Christian’s soul.
The Tyrant’s sword, the rack, the flame,
The scorner’s serpent tone,
Of bitter doubt the barbèd aim,
All, all conspire his heart to tame:
Force, fraud, and hellish fires assail
The rivets of his heavenly mail,
Amidst his foes alone.

Gods of the world! ye warrior host
Of darkness and of air,
In vain is all your impious boast,
In vain each missile lightning tost
In vain the Tempter’s snare!
Though fast and far your arrows fly
Though mortal nerve and bone
Shrink in convulsive agony,
The Christian can your rage defy:
Towers o’er his head Salvation’s crest,
Faith like a buckler guards his breast,
Undaunted, though alone.

’Tis past! ’tis o’er! in foul defeat
The Demon host are fled!
Before the Saviour’s mercy-seat
(His live-long work of faith complete),
Their conqueror bends his head.
The spoils Thyself hast gainèd, Lord!
I lay before Thy throne:
Thou wert my rock, my shield, my sword;
My trust was in Thy name and word:
’Twas in Thy strength my heart was strong;
Thy spirit went with mine along;
How was I then alone?

Reginald Heber

  1. Beneath Our Feet, and o’er Our Head
  2. Bread of the World, in Mercy Broken
  3. Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning
  4. By Cool Siloam’s Shady Rill
  5. Creator of the Rolling Flood
  6. Feeble Pulse, the Gasping Breath, The
  7. Forth from the Dark and Stormy Sky
  8. From Foes That Would the Land Devour
  9. From Greenland’s Icy Mountains
  10. God Is Gone Up with a Merry Noise
  11. God of Glory Walks His Round, The
  12. God, That Madest Earth and Heaven
  13. Holy, Holy, Holy
  14. Hosanna to the Living Lord
  15. In the Sun, and Moon, and Stars
  16. Lo, the Lilies of the Field
  17. Lord of Mercy and Might
  18. Lord of Might from Sinai’s Brow, The
  19. Lord, Whose Love, in Power Excelling
  20. Lord Will Come! The Earth Shall Quake, The
  21. O Captain of God’s Host
  22. O God, by Whom the Seed Is Given
  23. O God, My Sins Are Manifold
  24. O Hand of Bounty, Largely Spread
  25. O King of Earth, and Air, and Sea
  26. O More Than Merciful, Whose Bounty Gave
  27. O Most Merciful! O Most Bountiful
  28. O Savior, Is Thy Promise Fled?
    • Come, Jesus, Come, Return Again
  29. O Savior, Whom This Holy Morn
  30. O Thou, Who Gav’st Thy Servant Grace
  31. O Thou, Whom Neither Time Nor Space
  32. O Weep Not o’er Thy Children’s Tomb
  33. Oh Blest Were the Accents of Early Creation
  34. Oh, Savior, Is Thy Promise Fled
  35. Room for the Proud! Ye Sons of Clay
  36. Sit Thou on My Right Hand
  37. Son of God Goes Forth to War, The
  38. Sound of War in Earth and Air, The
  39. Spirit of Truth, on This Thy Day
  40. There Was Joy in Heaven
  41. Thou Art Gone to the Grave
  42. Though Sorrows Rise and Dangers Roll
  43. To Conquer and Save, the Son of God
  44. Virgin-Born, We Bow Before Thee
  45. Wake Not, O Mother, Sounds of Lamentation
  46. When on Her Maker’s Bosom
  47. When Spring Unlocks the Flowers
  48. When Through the Torn Sail
  49. Who Yonder on the Desert Heath
  50. World Is Grown Old, The
  1. Calcutta