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Updated 05/31/2013

 

Lord, Speak to Me


Frances Havergal

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) wrote the hymn, "Lord, Speak to Me" at Win­ter­dyne, Bewd­ley, Eng­land, for the use of lay help­ers in the church.

She was born into an Anglican family, at Astley in Worcestershire. Her father, William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), was a clergyman, writer, composer, and hymnwriter. Her brother, Henry East Havergal, was a priest in the Church of England and an organist.   
 

In 1852/3 she studied in the Louisenschule, Düsseldorf, and at Oberkassel. Otherwise she led a quiet life, not enjoying consistent good health; she travelled, in particular to Switzerland. She supported the Church Missionary Society.

She died of peritonitis at Caswell Bay on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Her sisters saw much of her work published posthumously. Havergal College in Toronto is named after her. The composer Havergal Brian adopted the name as a tribute to the Havergal family.

The music was written by the composer, Robert Schumann.


Robert Schumann


Lyrics by  Frances Havergal

 

Lord, speak to me that I may speak
In living echoes of Thy tone;
As Thou has sought, so let me seek
Thine erring children lost and lone.

O lead me, Lord, that I may lead
The wandering and the wavering feet;
O feed me, Lord, that I may feed
Thy hungering ones with manna sweet.

O strengthen me, that while I stand
Firm on the rock, and strong in Thee,
I may stretch out a loving hand
To wrestlers with the troubled sea.

O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.

O give Thine own sweet rest to me,
That I may speak with soothing power
A word in season, as from Thee,
To weary ones in needful hour.

O fill me with Thy fullness, Lord,
Until my very heart overflow
In kindling thought and glowing word,
Thy love to tell, Thy praise to show.

O use me, Lord, use even me,
Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where,
Until Thy blessèd face I see,
Thy rest, Thy joy, Thy glory share.