Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott (July 22, 1836 - August 3, 1897), another daughter of the clergy, came from a hymn-loving family of the Evangelical branch of the Church of England. Her aunt was the more well-known hymnwriter Charlotte Elliott, and her uncle, Henry Venn Elliott, published Psalms and Hymns for Public, Private, and Social Worship (1835), which included some texts by him and by Charlotte, as well as by his wife, Julia Ann Elliott.
Emily's earliest hymns were written for the choir of St. Mark's Church in Brighton, where her father was the rector. Later, she was for some years the editor of a magazine, The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, where some of her hymns were first published. They were later collected into three volumes, totalling one hundred forty-one by one account.
This hymn still appears in some hymnals, generally in the Christmas section, though it traces all of Jesus's life.
Thou didst leave thy throne and thy royal crown,
When thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
For thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, dear Jesus,
there is room in my heart for thee.
Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming thy high degree;
But of lowly birth didst thou come to earth,
And in great humility.
The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But thy couch was the sod, O thou Child of God,
In the deserts of Galilee.
Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word
That should set thy people free;
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,
They bore thee to Calvary.
When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing,
At thy coming to victory,
Let thy voice call me home, saying "Yet there is room,
There is room at my side for thee."
And my heart will rejoice, dear Jesus,
When thou comest and callest for me.
Emily E.S. Elliott, 1864; alt.
Tune: MARGARET (Irregular with refrain)
Timothy R. Matthews, 1876
Elliott wrote the first tune used for this hymn, as she did for some of her others, and it appeared in some nineteenth-century hymnals, but MARGARET has probably been consistently used for the last hundred years. Composer Timothy Matthews wrote other tunes, but this one has been the longest-lived, just as the text has been for Emily Elliott.
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