Be Thou My Vision
In the eighth century, an unknown poet wrote a prayer asking God to be his Vision, his Wisdom, and his Best Thought by day or by night. In 1905, Mary Elizabeth Byrne, a scholar in Dublin, Ireland, translated this ancient Irish poem into English. Another scholar, Eleanor Hull of Manchester, England, took Byrne’s translation and crafted it into verses with rhyme and meter. Shortly thereafter it was set to a traditional Irish folk song, “Slane,” named for an area in Ireland where St. Patrick reportedly challenged local Druids with the gospel. It is one of our oldest and most moving hymns.