March 26, 1789, Leina (near Gotha), Germany.

May 19, 1854, Ichtershausen, Germany.


Son of H. A. Hey, pastor at Leina, Wilhelm studied at the University of Jena and Göttingen. In 1811, he became a licentiate in theology, and after varied work as a tutor, became in 1818 pastor at Töttelstadt, near Gotha. In 1827, he became court preacher at Gotha, where his preaching attracted large audiences. In 1832, he was appointed superintendent of Ichtershausen.

Hey wrote his poetry mostly for children. His works include:

  1. Alle Jahre wieder, kommt das Christus Kind
  2. Aus dem Himmel ferne
  3. Glöcklein klingt, Vöglein singt
    • Bells Do Ring, Birds Do Sing
    • Bells They Ring, The Birds They Sing, The
    • Church Bells Ring
  4. Weißt du, wie viel Sternlein stehen
  5. Wenn auch vor deiner Thür einmal
  6. Wenn je du wieder zagst
    • When E’er Again Thou Sinkest
  7. Wenn Jesus liebt Der kann allein
    • The Love of Christ Makes Ever Glad
    • They Who Love Jesus Alone Can Be Gay
    • Whom Christ Holds Dear
    • Whom Jesus Loves

Hey’s burial place