The Divine Pilot

When winds far-blown from realms of pain

Author: Valdimar Briem; Translator: Charles Venn Pilcher
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

When winds far-blown from realms of pain
Lash sorrow's storm-waves high,
Thou deemest, tossed on life's rough main,
That death looms threatening by:
Thou callest, "Christ, whose voice once curbed
With power the raging deep,
Where is Thy might? All-undisturbed
Thou liest, O Lord, asleep."

What though He seem to sleep? yea, e'en
To slight thine anguished cries?
Yield not to gaunt despair; serene
Against the danger rise.
He sleeps not. Nay! 'tis we that sleep:
Untouched by slumber's power
He watches. Would that we could keep
Such watch with Him one hour!

Behold Him rise in majesty!
Shame on thy faithless fears!
He stays the wind, He stills the sea,
From off the rocks He steers.
So watch, for 'tis Thy Lord's command,
Thyself in calm or strife;
For hard the task, and weak the hand,
And short the course of life.

Give heed to watch, give heed to pray,
But scorn thy guilty fear,
Though mighty billows night and day
Their threatening crests uprear.
What if untracked before thy face
The watery wastes expand?
The helm, through God's abounding grace,
Lies in thy Saviour's hand.

Midst black confusion of the storm,
Midst moan of winds, He hears;
And ever at the stern His Form,
Majestic, God-like steers;
Till onward past death's ice-bound strand,
Where pain's wild breakers foam,
He guides thee to that Blessed Land,
Anchored in endless home.

Author: Valdimar Briem

Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 1, 1848, Grund, Ice­land. Died: May 3, 1930, Stó­ri-Nú­pur, Ice­land. Briem at­tend­ed the The­o­lo­gic­al Sem­in­ary in Reyk­ja­vik, was or­dained in 1873, and in 1880 be­came pas­tor of the Stó­ri-Nú­pur par­ish, where he served for three de­cades. In 1909, he be­came vice-bi­shop of Skál­holt. The 1886 Ice­lan­dic hym­nal has 102 orig­in­al hymns by Briem, and 39 of his trans­la­tions. Lyrics: Hve dryalegur er Drott­inn (How Mar­vel­ous God’s Great­ness) Lord, Let Thy Spir­it --/  Go to person page >

Translator: Charles Venn Pilcher

Pilcher, Charles Venn. (Oxford, June 4, 1879--July 4, 1961, Sydney, Australia). Anglican. Grandnephew of Charlotte Elliott. Hertford College, Oxford, B.A., 1902; M.A., 1905; B.D., 1909; D.D., 1921. Curacies at Birmingham, 1903-1905; St. James, Toronto, 1910-1916; taught theology at Auckland Castle, England, 1905-1906, and at Wycliffe College, Toronto, 1916-1936. Elected coadjutor bishop of Sydney, Australia, at the instance of a former Wycliffe colleague, Archbishop Mowll. He composed hymn tunes and other music, and long played bass clarinet in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Also, he translated and published much devotional material from Iceland, notably Iceland Christian Classics (1950). These side interests, like his hymn writing, merely… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When winds far-blown from realms of pain
Title: The Divine Pilot
Author: Valdimar Briem
Translator: Charles Venn Pilcher
Meter: D
Language: English