Be Thou My Vision

Words: • Irish poem (perhaps 10th or 11th cent.), tr. Mary E. Byrne (1905), alt. Eleanor H. Hull (1912), alt. Irish Church Hymnal (1919), alt. various.
Music:SLANE • Joyce's Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909), har. Martin Shaw in Songs of Praise (1925)



Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.


Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true Word,
I ever with Thee, and Thou with me Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.


Be Thou my armor, my sword for the fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tow'r;
Raise Thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.


Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou my inheritance, now and always;
Thou, and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.


High King of heaven, when vict’ry is won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Compared to Hymnals

  No. Words Music
Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs 318 Lacks vs 3 Different harmony
Songs for Worship and Praise 366 Vs 3 begins “Be Thou my buckler” Identical
Songs of Faith and Praise n/a
Praise for the Lord 70 Vs 3 begins “Be Thou my buckler” Identical
Hymns for Worship (Revised) n/a
Songs of the Church n/a
Sacred Selections n/a
Christian Hymns No. 2 n/a
Great Songs of the Church No. 2 n/a


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Through [Jesus] let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.
— Hebrews 13:15