Scripture Verse

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


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 Tune:

John G. Whittier (1807–1892)


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.