Scripture Verse

My days are like a shadow that declineth. Psalm 102:11

Introduction

portrait
Friedrich F. Flemming
(1778–1813)

Words: John G. Whit­ti­er, 1882. First ap­peared in The Bay of Se­ven Is­lands, and Oth­er Po­ems, 1883.

Music: Flem­ming Fried­rich F. Flem­ming, 1811 (🔊 pdf nwc). Flem­ming wrote the tune for male voic­es for part of Horace’s ode In­te­ger Vitae. First pub­lished as a hymn tune in the Con­gre­ga­tion­al Psalm­ist, 1875.

Alternate Tunes:

portrait
John G. Whittier
(1807–1892)

Lyrics

When on my day
Of life the night is falling,
And in the winds,
From unsunned spaces blown,
I hear far voices
Out of darkness calling
My feet to paths unknown.

Thou, who hast made
My home of life so pleasant,
Leave not its tenant
When its walls decay;
O love divine,
O helper ever present,
Be Thou my strength and stay!

Be near me when
All else is from me drifting—
Earth, sky, home’s pictures,
Days of shade and shine,
And kindly faces
To my own uplifting
The love which answers mine.

I have but Thee, my Father;
Let Thy Spirit be with me then
To comfort and uphold;
No gate of pearl,
No branch of palm I merit,
Nor street of shining gold.

Suffice it if—
My good and ill unreckoned,
And both forgiven
Through Thy abounding grace—
I find myself
By hands familiar beckoned
Unto my fitting place.

Some humble door
Among Thy many mansions,
Some sheltering shade
Where sin and striving cease,
And flows forever through
Heaven’s green expansions
The river of Thy peace.

There from the music
Round about me stealing
I fain would learn
The new and holy song,
And find at last,
Beneath Thy trees of healing,
The life for which I long.