Be Thou My Vision
Millions worldwide have found in the humble prayer text and lyric tune "Be Thou My Vision" a vehicle for praise and worship. It offers a singular voice of fierce devotion rooted in medieval Celtic Christianity that is still relevant today.
The eighth-century prayer was composed in Old Irish:
Rob tu mo bhoile,
a Comdi cride.
Ni ni nech aile,
acht ri secht nime …
Only in this century did this text find its English translation. Mary Byrne rendered it into literal English prose in 1905:
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart. None other is aught but the King of the seven heavens.Be thou my meditation by day and night; May it be thou that I behold even in my sleep.Be thou my speech, be thou my understanding, Be thou with me, be I with thee.Be thou my father, be I thy son. Mayst thou be mine, may I be thine.Be thou my battle-shield, be thou my sword. Be thou my dignity, be thou my delight.Be thou my shelter, be thou my stronghold. Mayst thou raise me up to the company of the angels.Be thou every good to my body and soul. Be thou my kingdom in heaven and on earth.Be thou solely chief love of my heart. Let there be none other, O high King of Heaven.Till I am able to pass into thy hands, My treasure, my beloved, through the greatness of thy love.Be thou alone my noble and wondrous estate. I seek not men, nor lifeless wealth.Be thou the constant guardian of every possession and every life. For our corrupt desires are dead at the mere sight of thee.Thy love in my soul and in my heart— Grant this to me, O King of the seven heavens.O King of the seven heavens grant me this— Thy love to be in my heart and in my soul.With the King of all, with him after victory won by piety May I be in the kingdom ...