Sun of My Soul Thou Savior Dear Lyrics
Rev. John Keble
1 Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear,
It is not night if Thou be near;
Oh, may no earthborn cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes.
2 When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought how sweet to rest
Forever on my Savior’s breast.
3 Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.
4 Come near, and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take;
Till in the ocean of Thy love
We lose ourselves in Thee above.
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The Story Behind Sun of My Soul Thou Savior Dear Hymn
ONE of the literary landmarks of the early nineteenth century, in sacred poetry at least, was The Christian Year, the work of the Rev. John Keble.
A high churchman of the Church of England, he was one of the founders of the Tractarian Movement, which aimed at producing a higher spiritual condition within the church.
At one time he was professor of poetry at Oxford University.
From his Christian Year was taken our hymn, “Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear,” which was part of a long hymn entitled “Evening.”
In “Famous Hymns of the World,” Allan Sutherland tells this story of Keble’s hymn:
“In a wild night a gallant ship went to her doom. A few women and children were placed in a boat, without oars or sails, and drifted away at the mercy of the waves.
Earlier in the evening, before the darkness had quite settled down, brave men on the shore had seen the peril of the vessel and had put out in the face of the tempest, hoping to save human life, but even the ship could not be found.
After a fruitless search, they were about to return to the shore, when out on the water, and above the wail of the storm, they heard a woman’s clear voice singing:
Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear,
It is not night, if Thou be near.
The rescue work was quickly accomplished. But for the singing, in all probability, this boatload of lives would have drifted beyond human help or been dashed to pieces before morning.”