April 21, 1783, Malpas, Cheshire, England.

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

St. John’s Church, Trichinopoly, 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. Lo, the Lilies of the Field
  16. Lord of Mercy and Might
  17. Lord of Might from Sinai’s Brow, The
  18. Lord, Whose Love, in Power Excelling
  19. Lord Will Come! The Earth Shall Quake, The
  20. O Captain of God’s Host
  21. O God, by Whom the Seed Is Given
  22. O God, My Sins Are Manifold
  23. O Hand of Bounty, Largely Spread
  24. O King of Earth, and Air, and Sea
  25. O More Than Merciful, Whose Bounty Gave
  26. O Most Merciful! O Most Bountiful
  27. O Savior, Is Thy Promise Fled?
    • Come, Jesus, Come, Return Again
  28. O Savior, Whom This Holy Morn
  29. O Thou, Who Gav’st Thy Servant Grace
  30. O Thou, Whom Neither Time Nor Space
  31. O Weep Not o’er Thy Children’s Tomb
  32. Oh Blest Were the Accents of Early Creation
  33. Oh, Savior, Is Thy Promise Fled
  34. Room for the Proud! Ye Sons of Clay
  35. Sit Thou on My Right Hand
  36. Son of God Goes Forth to War, The
  37. Sound of War in Earth and Air, The
  38. Spirit of Truth, on This Thy Day
  39. There Was Joy in Heaven
  40. Thou Art Gone to the Grave
  41. Though Sorrows Rise and Dangers Roll
  42. To Conquer and Save, the Son of God
  43. Virgin-Born, We Bow Before Thee
  44. Wake Not, O Mother, Sounds of Lamentation
  45. When on Her Maker’s Bosom
  46. When Spring Unlocks the Flowers
  47. When Through the Torn Sail
  48. Who Yonder on the Desert Heath
  49. World Is Grown Old, Her Pleasures Are Past, The
  1. Calcutta