Abide with Me

Original Text: 
B. G. Skinner, Henry Francis Lyte: Brixham's Poet and Priest (Exeter: University of Exeter, 1974): 137-38. BV 330 L9S55 Robarts Library. This, the so-called "original manuscript" that Lyte gave his daughter on the day of his final sermon, remains in the family. Cf. The Poetical Works of the Rev. H. F. Lyte, M.A., ed. John Appleyard (London: Elliot Stock, 1907): 35-36. PR 4897 L6 A17 1907 Robarts Library
"Abide with us: for it is towards evening, and the day is far spent."
Luke xxiv.29
1Abide with me! Fast falls the Eventide;
3When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
4Help of the helpless, O abide with me!
5Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
6Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away:
7Change and decay in all around I see.
8O Thou who changest not, abide with me!
9Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
10But as Thou dwellst with thy disciples, Lord,
11Familiar, condescending, patient, free, --
12Come, not to sojourn, but abide with me.
13Come not in terrors, as the King of kings;
14But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
15Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
16Come, Friend of sinners and thus bide with me.
18And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
19Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
20On to the close, O Lord, abide with me!
21I need thy presence every passing hour.
22What but thy grace can foil the Tempter's power?
23Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
25I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
26Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
27Where is death's sting? where grave thy victory?
28I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
31Heaven's morning breaks, and Earth's vain shadows flee!
32In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Notes

2] thickens: deepens (later versions). Back to Line
17] did: didst (later versions). Back to Line
24] O: Lord (later versions). Back to Line
29] then: Thou (1868). Back to Line
30] Speak: Shine (later versions). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1847
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2001
Rhyme: