“Be Thou My Vision” was thought to written in the seventh century by an Irish church poet and missionary named Columba of Country Donegal. This hymn has remained one of my favorites, since first listening to Van Morrison’s rendition on “Hymns to the Silence.”
Van’s modified lyrics:
Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thy art
Thou my best thought, in the day and the night
Waking or sleeping, Thou presence my light.
Be Thou my wisdom, Be Thou my true word
I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father and I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my breast-plate, my sword for the fight
Be Thou my armor and be Thou my might
Thou my soul’s shelter, and Thy my high tower
Raise Thou me heavenwards, oh power of my power.
Riches I need not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance through all of my days
Thou and Thou only, the first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.
Oh high King of Heaven, when battle is done,
Grant Heaven’s joy to me, bright Heaven’s sun
Christ of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.