Father, by thy love and power

Father, by thy love and power

Author: Joseph Anstice
Tune: HALLE (Ritter)
Published in 26 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 Father, by Thy love and power
Comes again the evening hour;
Light has vanished, labors cease,
Weary creatures rest in peace;
Thou, whose genial dews distill
On the lowliest weed that grows
Father, guard our couch from ill,
Lull Thy children to repose,
We to Thee ourselves resign;
Let our latest thoughts be Thine.

2 Savior, to Thy Father bear
This our feeble evening prayer;
Thou hast seen how oft today
We, like sheep, have gone astray;
Worldly thoughts, and thoughts of pride,
Wishes to Thy cross untrue,
Secret faults and undescried,
Meet Thy spirit-piercing view;
Blessèd Savior, yet, through Thee,
Grant that we may pardoned be.

3 Holy Spirit, breath of balm
Fall on us in evening’s calm;
Yet a while, before we sleep,
We with Thee will vigils keep;
Lead us on our sins to muse,
Give us truest penitence;
Then the love of God infuse,
Breathing humble confidence;
Melt our spirits, mold our will,
Soften, strengthen, comfort still.

4 Blessèd Trinity, be near,
Through the hours of darkness drear;
Then, when shrinks the lonely heart,
Thou more clearly present art;
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Watch o’er our defenseless heads;
Let Thy angels’ guardian host
Keep all evil from our beds,
Till the flood of morning rays
Wake us to a song of praise.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #9992

Author: Joseph Anstice

Anstice, Joseph , M.A., son of William Anstice of Madeley, Shropshire, born 1808, and educated at Enmore, near Bridgwater, Westminster, and Ch. Church, Oxford, where he gained two English prizes and graduated as a double-first. Subsequently, at the ago of 22, he became Professor of Classical Literature at King's College, London; died at Torquay, Feb. 29, 1836, aged 28. His works include Richard Coeur de Lion, a prize poem, 1828; The Influence of the Roman Conquest upon Literature and the Arts in Rome (Oxford prize Essay); Selections from the Choice Poetry of the Greek Dramatic Writers, translated into English Verse, 1832, &c. His hymns were printed a few months after his death, as:— Hymns by the late Joseph Anstice, M.A., formerly Student… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Father, by thy love and power
Author: Joseph Anstice
Copyright: Public Domain


Father, by Thy love and power. J. Anstice. [Evening.] Printed by his widow for private circulation in Hymns by the late Joseph Anstice, M.A., &c, 1836, No. 3, in 4 stanzas of 10 lines. In 1841 it was given in The Child's Christian Year, with one change only, that of stanza i., line 8, "Lull Thy children to repose," to "Lull Thy creatures to repose," which in the Hymnal Companion is again changed to "Grant Thy children sweet repose," and accompanied by a note (Notes, 31) which shows that Bishop Bickersteth used The Child's Christian Year text as the original, in error. In the numerous hymn-books in which this beautiful hymn is found, not this line, but stanza iv., lines i.-iv., have been the source of difficulty. They read in the original:—

"Blessed Trinity! be near
Through the hours of darkness drear;
When the help of man is far,
Ye more clearly present are."

The attempts which have been made to overcome the weakness of these lines have been many. The most important of these are:—

1. "Blessed Trinity, be near,
Through the hours of darkness drear;
Then, when shrinks the lonely heart,
Thou more clearly present art."

Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Appendix to Psalms & Hymns, 1869, their Church Hymns, 1871, and many others.

2. "Blessed Trinity, be near
Through the. hours of darkness drear;
Oh, enfold us in Thine arm,
Screen from danger, save from harm."
Hymnary, 1872.

3. "Blessed Trinity, be near
Through the hour of darkness drear;
Then when shrinks the lonely heart,
Thou, O God, most present art."

Hymnal Companion, 1870-76; Thring's Collection, 1882; Laudes Domini, N. Y. 1884, and others.
Other arrangements of these lines are also given in some of the collections, but these are the most important. In addition there is also a re-arrangement of the text in the Cooko & Denton Church Hymnal, enlarged edition, 1855, No. 338, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines; and in the Rev. F. Pott's Hymns, &c, 1861, No. 23, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines. In its various forms the use of this hymn is extensive.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #9992
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