The Shepherd true

I was wandering, sad and weary

Author: Frederick William Faber
Published in 31 hymnals

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Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1. I was wandering and weary
When my Savior came unto me;
For the ways of sin grew dreary,
And the world has ceased to woo me;
And I thought I heard Him say,
As He came along His way,

O wand’ring souls, come near Me,
My sheep would never fear Me,
My sheep would never fear Me:
I am the Shepherd true.

2. At first I would not hearken,
And put off till the morrow;
But life began to darken,
And I was sick with sorrow;
Still I thought I heard Him say,
As He came along His way, [Refrain]

3. At last I stopped to listen,
His voice could not deceive me;
I saw His kind eyes glisten,
So anxious to relieve me,
I was sure I heard Him say,
As He came along His way, [Refrain]

4. He took me on His shoulder,
And tenderly He kissed me;
He bade my love be bolder,
And said how He had missed me;
Then I heard Him sweetly say,
As He went along His way, [Refrain]

5. I thought His love would weaken,
As more and more He knew me;
But it burneth like a beacon,
And its light and heat go thro’ me.
And I ever hear Him say,
As He goes along His way, [Refrain]

6. Let us do, then, dearest brothers,
What will best and longest please us.
Follow not the ways of others,
But trust ourselves to Jesus.
We shall ever hear Him say,
As He goes along His way, [Refrain]

Author: Frederick William Faber

Faber, Frederick William, D.D., son of Mr. T. H. Faber, was born at Calverley Vicarage, Yorkshire, June 28, 1814, and educated at Balliol College, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1836. He was for some time a Fellow of University College, in the same University. Taking Holy Orders in 1837, he became Rector of Elton, Huntingdonshire, in 1843, but in 1846 he seceded to the Church of Rome. After residing for some time at St. Wilfrid's, Staffordshire, he went to London in 1849, and established the London "Oratorians," or, "Priests of the Congregation of St. Philip Neri," in King William Street, Strand. In 1854 the Oratory was removed to Brompton. Dr. Faber died Sept. 26, 1863. Before his secession he published several prose works, some of which were… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I was wandering, sad and weary
Title: The Shepherd true
Author: Frederick William Faber
Source: Jesus and Mary (London: 1849)
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Wandering souls, O do come near me
Notes: Alternate tune: Music of unknown origin, in The Hymnary of the United Church of Canada (Toronto, Canada: The United Church Publishing House, 1931), number 484
Copyright: Public Domain


I was wandering and weary. F. W. Faber. [The Lost Sheep.] First published in his Jesus and Mary, &c, 1849, in 7 stanzas of 9 lines, and entitled, “The True Shepherd. For the Ragged School." Also found in his Hymns, 1862. It is a hymn of great beauty and pathos, admirably suited for private use, but from its peculiar quaintness cannot be popular with the general public. It is sometimes given as, "I was weary and wandering," to the manifest injury of the hymn.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)