The Lord's My Shepherd

The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want; He makes me down to lie (Rous)

Author: Francis Rous
Scripture Songs
Published in 466 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Sibelius
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Full Text

1 The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want;
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.

2 My soul he doth restore again,
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
e'en for his own name's sake.

3 Yea, though I walk through death's dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill;
for thou art with me, and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.

4 My table thou hast furnishèd
in presence of my foes;
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.

5 Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God's house for evermore
my dwelling-place shall be.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #799a

Author: Francis Rous

Rous, Francis (Rouse), was born at Halton, Cornwall, in 1579, and educated at Oxford. He adopted the legal profession, and way M.P. for Truro during the reigns of James and of Charles I. He also represented Truro in the Long Parliament, and took part against the King and the Bishops. He was appointed a member of the Westminster Assembly; of the High Commission; and of the Triers for examining and licensing candidates for the ministry. He also held other appointments under Cromwell, including that of Provost of Eton College. He died at Acton, Jan. 7, 1659, and was buried in the Chapel of Eton College. Wood, in his Athenae Oxmienses, gives a list of his numerous works. --Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 23:1-2
st. 2 = Ps. 23:3
st. 3 = Ps. 23:4
st. 4 = Ps. 23:5
st. 5 = Ps. 23:6

Of all metrical versions of the psalms, this versification of Psalm 23 from the 1650 Scottish Psalter is probably the best known. Though one of the best examples of a Scottish psalm in meter, the grammatical structure of the text is twisted for the sake of rhyme – the mismatch of textual and musical phrases is especially problematic in stanza 1. But the rugged strength of the verse and the powerful imagery of this psalm have endeared this Scottish versification to many believers through the centuries. For further commentary on this psalm see PHH 23.

Liturgical Use:
See PHH 23.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987


The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want, p. 1154, i. The text quoted is from a copy of Rous's 1643 edition in the library of Elham Church, Kent.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)




BROTHER JAMES' AIR was composed by James Leith Macbeth Bain (b. Scotland, c. 1840; d. Liverpool, England, 1925), the healer, mystic, and poet known simply as Brother James. The tune was first published in his volume The great peace: being a New Year's greeting ... (1915). Born in a devout Christian…

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A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #197
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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #14bText
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Common Praise (1998) #519
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Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #591bText
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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #87Text
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