Scripture Verse

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105


John B. Dykes (1823–1876)

Words: Ber­nard Bar­ton, 1826.

Music: Be­ati­tu­do John B. Dykes, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Bernard Barton (1784–1849)
National Portrait Gallery



Lamp of our feet! where­by we trace
Our path, when wont to stray;
Stream from the fount of heav’n­ly grace!
Brook by the tra­vel­er’s way!

Bread of our souls! where­on we feed;
True ma­nna from on high!
Our guide, and chart where­in we read
Of realms be­yond the sky.

Pillar of fire—through watch­es dark!
Or ra­di­ant cloud by day!
When waves would break our toss­ing bark—
Our an­chor and our stay!

Pole-star on life’s tem­pes­tu­ous deep!
Beacon! when doubts sur­round;
Compass! by which our course we keep;
Our deep sea-lead, to sound!

Riches in po­ver­ty! our aid
In ev­ery need­ful hour!
Unshaken rock! the pil­grim’s shade;
The sol­dier’s fort­ress tow­er.

Our shield and buck­ler in the fight!
Victory’s tri­um­phant palm!
Comfort in grief! in weak­ness, might!
In sick­ness, Gi­le­ad’s balm.

Childhood’s pre­cep­tor! man­hood’s trust!
Old age’s firm al­ly!
Our hope—when we go down to dust,
Of im­mor­ta­li­ty.

Pure ora­cles of truth di­vine!
Unlike each fa­bled dream
Given forth from Del­phos’ mys­tic shrine
Or groves of Aca­deme!

Word of the ev­er-liv­ing God!
Will of His glo­ri­ous Son!
Without Thee, how could earth be trod?
Or Hea­ven it­self be won?

Yet to un­fold thy hid­den worth,
Thy mys­te­ries to re­veal,
That Spi­rit which first gave thee forth,
Thy vol­ume must un­seal!

And we, if we aright would learn
The wis­dom it im­parts,
Must to its heav­en­ly teach­ing turn
With sim­ple, child-like hearts!