Lead Kindly Light

The first three verses of this hymn were written as the poem "The Pillar of Christ" by John Henry Newman in 1833.    Edward Bickersteth Junior wrote the 4th verse.

Tunes it has been set to include
  • LUX BENIGNA by John B. Dykes, 1865 -  the most commonly used one
  • SANDON by Charles H. Pur­day, 1857
  • ALBERTA by William H Harris

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Sheet music is available from a wide range of hymn books, and SheetMusicPlus carry a number of arrangements.


Lyrics: Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom, lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant scene; one step enough for me. I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on; I loved to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on! I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years! So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on. O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone, And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I Have loved long since, and lost awhile! Note:  this hymn is sometimes shown as having a fourth verse, quoted below.  However it was added by a later hymn-book editor, and when John Henry Newman became aware of it he requested that it be removed.  (Reference) Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, Thyself hast trod, Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith, home to my God. To rest forever after earthly strife In the calm light of everlasting life.

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