For a number of days before I wrote this hymn, all had seemed dark to me.
That was indeed an unusual experience, for I have always been most cheerful; and so in my human weakness I cried in prayer, ‘Dear Lord, hold thou my hand.’
Almost at once the sweet peace that comes of perfect assurance returned to my heart, and my gratitude for this evidence of answered prayer sang itself in the lines of the hymn.
Hold Thou my hand; so weak I am, and helpless,
I dare not take one step without Thy aid;
Hold Thou my hand; for then, O loving Savior,
No dread of ill shall make my soul afraid.
Hold Thou my hand, and closer, closer draw me
To Thy dear self—my hope, my joy, my all;
Hold Thou my hand, lest haply I should wander,
And, missing Thee, my trembling feet should fall.
Hold Thou my hand; the way is dark before me
Without the sunlight of Thy face divine;
But when by faith I catch its radiant glory,
What heights of joy, what rapturous songs are mine!
Hold Thou my hand, that when I reach the margin
Of that lone river Thou didst cross for me,
A heavenly light may flash along its waters,
And every wave like crystal bright shall be.