Mary…sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. Luke 10:39
Words: Frances R. Havergal, 1866.
© 2017 Scott Werdebaugh
This music may be freely reproduced or published for Christian worship or devotions, provided it is not altered, & this notice is on each copy. All other rights reserved.
I felt that I had not written anything specially in praise to Christ. A longing to do so possessed me. I wanted to show forth His praise to Him, not to others, even if no mortal ever saw it, He would see every line, would have known the unwritten longing to praise Him even if words failed utterly.
It describes, as most of my poems do, rather reminiscence than present feeling. I cannot transcribe it at the moment of strong feeling. I recall it afterwards and write it down.
O Master! It is perhaps my favorite title because it implies rule and submission; and this is what love craves. Men may feel differently, but a true woman’s submission is inseparable from deep love.
I wrote it in the cold and twilight in the little back room, uncarpeted, at Shareshill Parsonage, Dec. 31, 1866. I began my book [Ministry of Song] with the expression of its devotion to God’s glory, I wished to close it with a distinctive ascription of praise to Jesus, and, therefore, without any hesitation, at once decided upon placing Adoration [this hymn] where it stands.
Julian, p. 844
O Master, at Thy feet
I bow in rapture sweet!
Before me, as in darkening glass,
Some glorious outlines pass,
Of love, and truth, and holiness, and power;
I own them Thine, O Christ,
And bless Thee for this hour.
O full of truth and grace,
Smile of Jehovah’s face;
O tenderest heart of love untold!
Who may Thy praise unfold?
Thee, Savior, Lord of lords and King of kings,
Well may adoring seraphs
Hymn with veiling wings.
I have no words to bring
Worthy of Thee, my King,
And yet one anthem in Thy praise
I long, I long to raise;
The heart is full, the eye entranced above,
But words all melt away
To silent awe and love.
How can the lip be dumb,
The hand all still and numb,
When Thee the heart doth see and own
Her Lord and God alone?
Tune for Thyself the music of my days,
And open Thou my lips
That I may show Thy praise.
Yea, let my whole life be
One anthem unto Thee,
And let the praise of lip and life
Outring all sin and strife.
O Jesus, Master! Be Thy name supreme,
For heaven and earth the one,
The grand, eternal theme.