Rob to mo bhoile, ancient Irish poem
[original gaelic language for Be Thou My Vision]
Translated by Mary E. Byrne (1880-1931)
Versified by Eleanor Hull (1860-1935
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
From The Emerald Isle of Ireland
Be Thou My Vision, comes from the emerald isle of Ireland, with origins perhaps as early as the 5th century. Its beautiful poetry is paired with a tune from the rich tradition of Irish folksong, and it has enjoyed widespread popularity since its first appearance in hymnals early in the 20th century.
The rich imagery and metaphor of the stanzas of Be Thou My Vision are infused with a sense of mysticism, awe and appreciation of God--father, son and spirit. This great hymn is also a prayer for communion with a loving and ever-present God for wisdom, strength, courage and steadfastness in this life and in heaven. "High King of Heaven, Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my Vision, O Ruler of All."