Harriet B. Stowe (1812-1896)

Also found in Inspiring Hymns, Zondervan, Grand Rapids (1968 ed.) © 1951, #7; Favorite Hymns of Praise, Tabernacle, Chicago (1969 ed.) © 1967, #11.

The Hymn

  1. +^Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
    When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
    Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
    Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.
  2. +^Alone with Thee, amid the mystic shadows,
    The solemn hush of nature newly born;
    Alone with Thee in breathless adoration,
    In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.
  3. As in the dawning o’er the waveless ocean
    The image of the morning star doth rest,
    So in the stillness Thou beholdest only
    Thine image in the waters of my breast.
  4. +Still, still with Thee, as to each newborn morning,
    A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,
    So does this blessèd consciousness, awaking,
    Breathe each day nearness unto Thee and Heaven.
  5. +^When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
    Its closing eye looks up to Thee in prayer;
    Sweet the repose beneath the wings o’ershading,
    But sweeter still to wake and find Thee there.
  6. +^So shall it be at last, in that bright morning,
    When the soul waketh and life’s shadows flee;
    O in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
    Shall rise the glorious thought, I am with Thee.

(Hymn words accessed at CyberHymnal) Stanzas included in our study hymnal are indicated with bold print. +Inspiring Hymns, ^Favorite Hymns.

Scriptural Connection

Psalm 139 is a song about God’s ever-presence with His children. In today’s hymn, we have a more recent telling of that same assurance.

What does it mean?

From the same pen that gave us the anti-slavery treatise Uncle Tom’s Cabin, we find this hymn of God’s presence. This is a hymn of comfort to the troubled soul. Stowe reminds us that those who know God will find Him with them from the early morning as the birds awaken with the dawn until the last rays touch the earth at the close of day.

The imagery used teaches us that the comforting presence of Almighty is felt until the shadows of our life close in around us. She includes language that holds the assurance of a new day that follows for those who are with God.

This is a lovely hymn that is designed to bring comfort to the disheartened, peace to the troubled, and joy to the sad of heart. Worshipers are reminded that the source of that comfort is the ever-noticeable presence of the Almighty God. From moment to moment, He says, “I am with Thee.”

*Hymn numbers for this series’ titles are from the Baptist Hymnal, 1956 edition, Nashville, Convention Press.