Forth from the dark and stormy sky

Full Text

1 Forth from the dark and stormy sky,
Lord, to Thine altar's shade we fly;
Forth from the world, its hope and fear,
Saviour, we seek Thy shelter here:
Weary and weak, Thy grace we pray:
Turn not, O Lord! Thy guests away.

2 Long have we roamed in want and pain,
Long have we sought Thy rest in vain;
Wildered in doubt, in darkness lost,
Long have our souls been tempest-tost;
Low at Thy feet our sins we lay:;
Turn not, O Lord! Thy guests away.

Hymnal: according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, 1871

Author: Reginald Heber

Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today. -- Greg Scheer, 1995… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Forth from the dark and stormy sky
Author: Reginald Heber
Source: publ. 1827
Language: English


Forth from the dark and stormy sky. Bp. R. Heber. [Lent.] Appeared in his Hymns, &c, 1827, in 2 stanzas of 6 lines, and appointed for the 2nd Sunday after Trinity. It was also included in the 1842 edition of the same. The use of this hymn has been very varied. In the New Mitre, and Thring's Collection, it is appointed for "Holy Communion" (its claim thereto being evidently the second line of stanza i., "Lord, to Thine altar's shade we flee," and the concluding line of each stanza, "Turn not, O Lord, Thy guests away"); whilst in Kennedy it is given for "Passion Week," and in other collections for different seasons. In most cases the text is unaltered, as in Thring's Collection, 1882, No. 532. Its American use is extensive.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



[Forth from the dark and stormy sky]


The original chant melody associated with this text [i.e., "Eternal Father, strong to save"] is found in most hymnals of denominations where chant has played a role, including the Lutheran tradition, which has produced much organ music on this well-known chant. The setting here is by John B. Dykes (…

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