Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anne Steele

Hymnwriter Anne Steele (May 1717 - November 11, 1778), born in Broughton,  was the first female writer to produce a large number of hymns that were widely sung for over a hundred years.  She was a Baptist, but her hymns were used across many denominations in a time when the hymns of many writers from any particular denomination were not accepted elsewhere.  Though far fewer of her 180 texts are sung today, she is not completely forgotten and several hymnals still contain her work.

To our Redeemer’s glorious name
Awake the sacred song:
O may his love — immortal flame —
Tune every heart and tongue.

His love, what mortal tongue can reach?
What mortal tongue display?
Imagination’s utmost stretch
In wonder dies away.

Let wonder still with love unite,
And gratitude and joy;
Be Jesus our supreme delight,
His praise our best employ.

O Christ, while we adoring pay
Our humble thanks to thee,
May every heart with rapture say,
"The Savior died for me."

O may the sweet, the blissful theme
Fill every heart and tongue,
Till all shall love thy charming name,
And join the sacred song.

Anne Steele, 1760; alt
Tune: AZMON (C.M.)
Carl G. Glaser, 1828;
arr. Lowell Mason, 1839

She was confined to bed for the last nine years of her life, but continued to write.  The following verse appears on her gravestone:

Silent the lyre, and dumb the tuneful tongue
That sung on earth her Great Redeemer’s praise
But now in Heaven she joins the angels’ song
In more harmonious, more exalted lays

Four Years Ago: Anne Steele

Two Years Ago: Anne Steele

No comments: