Lead Kindly Light

The first three verses of this hymn of faith and petition were written as the poem "The Pillar of Christ" by English Anglican (later Roman Catholic convert) priest, poet and theologian John Henry Newman (1801–1890) in 1833.

An additional verse was written by Church of England bishop from Exeter, Edward Bickersteth Junior (1825-1906).   However when John Henry Newman became aware of it he requested that it be removed.  (Reference)

With meter, tunes it has been set to include
  • LUX BENIGNA by John B. Dykes, 1865 -  the most commonly used setting in England at least
  • SANDON by Charles H. Purday, 1857
  • ALBERTA by William H Harris


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Large choir, unaccompanied:

Professional recording - unaccompanied, tune LUX BENIGNA

Solo singer with gentle piano accompaniment - professional recording:

Large choir with organ accompaniment:

Instrumental - classical-style guitar:


Lead, Kindly Light, amidst 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!

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.

See also

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