At church this morning, I was reminded today how wonderful the following hymn is. The words were composed by Katharina von Schlegel in 1752; were translated from German to English by Jane L. Borthwick in 1855; and then set to the tune “Finlandia” (1899) by the great composer Jean Sibelius.
The Cyberhymnal notes, “Borthwick belonged to the Free Church of Scotland. In 1855, she and her sister, Sarah Findlater, co-produced a book of translations of German hymns titled Hymns from the Land of Luther. In 1875, while living in Switzerland, she produced another book of translations called Alpine Lyrics. Borthwick was also active with the Edinburgh House of Refuge, the Moravian Mission in Labrador, and other mission work. She never married.”
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.