Scripture Verse

The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud…and by night in a pillar of fire. Exodus 13:21


Walter Scott

Words: Wal­ter Scott, 1817.

Music: Mel­combe Sam­u­el Webbe, Sr., 1782 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Samuel Webbe, Sr.

In chap­ter 40 of Ivan­hoe, Scott in­tro­duces the hymn:

It was in the twi­light of the day when her tri­al, if it could be called such, had ta­ken place, that a low knock was heard at Re­bec­ca’s pris­on cham­ber. It dis­turbed not the in­mate, who was then en­gaged in the ev­en­ing pray­er re­com­mend­ed by her re­li­gion, and which con­clud­ed with a hymn we have ven­tured thus to trans­late into Eng­lish…


When Israel, of the Lord beloved,
Out from the land of bondage came,
Her father’s God before her moved,
An awful guide, in smoke and flame.

There rose the choral hymn of praise,
And trump and timbrel answered keen,
And Zion’s daughters poured their lays,
With priest’s and warrior’s voice between.

By day, along th’astonished lands
The cloudy pillar glided slow;
By night, Arabia’s crimsoned sands
Returned the fiery column’s glow.

Thus present still, though now unseen,
When brightly shines the prosperous day,
Be thoughts of Thee a cloudy screen,
To temper the deceitful ray.

And O, when gathers on our path,
In shade and storm, the frequent night,
Be Thou, long suffering, slow to wrath,
A burning and a shining light.