Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart

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 and I, Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart;
O King of glory, my treasure Thou art.
O King of glory, my victory won;
Rule and reign in me ’til Thy will be done;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
Carol N.

Massachusetts, United States

Ana Lara, thank you for sharing your research on this hymn (and other hymns as well). This hymn is a favorite in our little home meeting. He is our vision, our aspiration. We abide in Him. What a beautiful mingling!

Jim Smith

Mansfield, Ohio, United States

Lord don’t be anything else to me but what you are. I desire you and you alone. I don’t want to be distracted by anything else. You are my vision (central vision). I don’t want to be distracted by peripheral things. I want a single heart for you.

Gigi Delos Reyes


O King of glory, my victory won;

Rule and reign in me ’til Thy will be done;

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Jonathan Page

Nacogdoches, Texas, United States

This beautiful song... sung over me by my mother when a child. For years I had an idea of the melody, but never knew all the words. Such a joy and glory now to sing it full and sweet unto the Lord. What grace! What a gift! To sing back to him the songs he has given us!!! So much strength and joy in these words! Thank you Lord!

If I am not mistaken, there is another verse which is the third of five.

"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."



Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart

Thou my best thought, by day or by night.

Stephen Bellingham

United States

"Be Thou my vision"


Rosita Enriquez

Anaheim, California, United States

Lord be Thou my vision... keep me in the line of Life all my days.

Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

The music SLANE, is an Irish tune, arranged by Donald P Husted, in 1974.

Donald Paul Husted was born October 2, 1918, near Echo, Minnesota and died June 22, 2013, Chicago, Illinois. He is buried in Chapel Hill Gardens West, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

After his father died in a hunting accident when he was an infant, his mother moved her two sons to Boone, Iowa. Donald began studying piano at the tender age of four, and went on to study at John Fletcher College (BA 1940) and Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

(MMus 1945, DMus 1963).

Hustad was an associate of the American Guild of Organists (1969), and Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in London (1974). He worked as a staff musician at the radio station WMBI in Chicago, Illinois (1942-1945) and as a music director for one of the programs at ABC radio (1945-53).

He was later an Associate Professor of Music at Olivet Nazarene College, Kankakee, Illinois (1946-50); director of the Sacred Music Department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (1950–63); and conducted the Moody Chorale.

Husted also played the organ for Billy Graham crusades, and directed the “Crusader Men” on “The Hour of Decision” broadcast.

In 1966, he became professor of Church Music at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1950, he became an editor for Hope Publishing Company in Chicago and Carol Stream, Illinois. He has either published or edited at least nine different publications.

Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

The translator for this hymn was Mary Elizabeth Byrne born July 2, 1880, Dublin, Ireland and died January 19, 1931, Dublin, Ireland.

A linguist, Byrne attended the Dominican Convent in Dublin, at the University of Ireland, where she graduated in 1905. She received the Chancellor’s Gold Medal at the Royal University of Ireland. She worked for the Board of Intermediate Education, and helped compile the catalog of the Royal Irish Academy. Mary contributed to the Old and Mid-Irish Dictionary and Dictionary of the Irish Language and wrote a treatise on England in the Age of Chaucer.

In 1905, she translated into prose an old English poem from around the eighth century.

The English translation was versified in 1912 by Eleanor Hull and it became the hymn “Be Thou My Vision”.

Eleanor Henrietta Hull (1860-1935) was educated at Alexander college, Dublin, Ireland. Hull’s passion was Gaelic culture: she founded the Irish Text Society and was President of the Irish Literary Society of London.

Each stanza of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision” is full of poetic and spiritual meaning:

The word “vision” is used in this case to mean not only something seen but a goal to aspire to. The hymn expresses an all-encompassing life commitment such as we see in the Apostle Paul who confessed, “Not that I have already obtained or I am already perfected; but I pursue, if even I may lay hold of that for which I also have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phi. 3:12). “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

These beautiful words constitute an early Celtic understanding of the person of Christ and his attributes. In personifying various things that the Lord has given the believer, the poet tells us in effect, that the Lord is those things. To have them, we need to have Him , and to have Him is to have them. (For “my high Tower, ” Ps. 144:2; stanzas 1&3). Stanza 3 is from the earlier version of the hymn.

The writer glories in the fact that the Lord dwells within him and then he dwells in God. (Stanza 2). The Scriptures clearly teach that the Spirit of God indwells each Christian; this mingling is referred to Christ’s usage in John to refer to the believer’s close and unbroken fellowship with the Lord. (John 15:5; “Abide in Me and I in You).

The great hope and joy of the writer is that one day he will be with the Lord in the Heavenly kingdom, there to behold Him and all His glory (Psalm 17:15 stanza-5). Stanza 5 is in the original version.

(Wordwisehymns. com)

Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

Dallán Forgail (530-598) was born in Ballyconnell, Ireland. He was an early Christian Irish poet, best known as the writer of the “Eulogy of Saint Columbia”. He also wrote a poem that became the basis for the modern English hymn “Be Thou My Vision”. His given name was Eochaid Forchella, and was the son of Colla, a descendant of the legendary High King Colla Uasis. His nickname Dallan meaning “little blind one” was earned because he lost his sight as a result of studying intensively.

He is said to have died in 598 when pirates broke into the island Monastery of InnesKeel, in Donnegal where he is buried. He was reportedly beheaded and legend says that God reattached his head to his body after he was martyred. He was not only a poet, but also a scholar of Latin Scriptural learning. Dallan helped to reform the Bardic Order (one of the ancient Celtic order of minstrel poets) at the convention of Drumceat. He is best known for Eulogies attributed to him on the subject of contemporaneous Irish saints.