The God of love my Shepherd is And He that doth me feed

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The God of love my Shepherd is And He that doth me feed

Author: George Herbert
Published in 40 hymnals

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Representative Text

1 The God of love my shepherd is,
and he that doth me feed;
while he is mine and I am his,
what can I want or need?

2 He leads me to the tender grass,
where I both feed and rest;
then to the streams that gently pass:
in both I have the best.

3 Or if I stray, he doth convert,
and bring my mind in frame,
and all this not for my desert,
but for his holy name.

4 Yea, in death's shady black abode
well may I walk, not fear;
for thou art with me, and thy rod
to guide, thy staff to bear.

5 Surely thy sweet and wondrous love
shall measure all my days;
and, as it never shall remove,
so neither shall my praise.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #792

Author: George Herbert

Herbert, George, M.A., the fifth son of Richard Herbert and Magdalen, the daughter of Sir Richard Newport, was born at his father's seat, Montgomery Castle, April 3, 1593. He was educated at Westminster School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1611. On March 15, 1615, he became Major Fellow of the College, M.A. the same year, and in 1619 Orator for the University. Favoured by James I., intimate with Lord Bacon, Bishop Andrewes, and other men of influence, and encouraged in other ways, his hopes of Court preferment were somewhat bright until they were dispelled by the deaths of the Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of Hamilton, and then of King James himself. Retiring into Kent, he formed the resolution of taking Holy Orders… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The God of love my Shepherd is And He that doth me feed
Author: George Herbert
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The God of love my Shepherd is. [Ps. xxiii.] Various versions of Ps. 23, each beginning with the same first line are in common use. These are:—
1. George Herbert's version, published posthumously in his Temple, 1633, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and repeated in all subsequent editions of the same. The first stanza is:—

"The God of love my Shepherd is,
And He that doth me feed:
While He is mine and I am His,
What can I want or need?"

2. George Rawson's rendering in the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853, No. 26, is based upon the above by Herbert, and the first stanza is:—

"The God of love my Shepherd is,
To watch me and to feed;
Since He is mine and I am His,
What can I ever need?”

This text was slightly altered by Mr. Rawson for the Baptist Psalms & Hymns 1858, and again for his Hymns, Verses and Chants, 1876.
3. G. Rawson has a second version of Ps. 23 in his Hymns, &c, 1876, the opening stanza of which is:—

"My Shepherd is the Living Lord,
So I can never need;
In pastures green
Still streams between
I lay me down to feed."

4. G. Rawson's third version in his Hymns, &c, 1876, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, begins:—

“The God of love my Shepherd is,
My gracious constant Guide;
I shall not want, for I am His:
In all supplied."

This was given in Thring's Collection, 1882, with a new verse by Prebendary Thring in the place of Mr. Rawson's stanzas v. The latter reads:—

"Thy grace astounds my demon foes;
True oil of joy is mine;
My cup of mercy overflows
With care divine."

Prebendary Thring's substitute is:—

"Thou spread'st my table 'mid my foes,
The oil of grace is mine,
My cup with mercy overflows
And love divine."

5. Mr. Rawson, not content with his original version, supplied us with the following in manuscript:—

"God is my host,
His welcome glows;
The festal oil is mine;
My board is spread, my cup o'erflows,
By care divine."

To our mind Prebendary Thring's version is the most acceptable of the three renderings of the fifth stanza.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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The Cyber Hymnal #1864
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for Voice and Dulcimer #65
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Instances (1 - 13 of 13)

Ancient and Modern #792

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #707

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Common Praise #587

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Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #643

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CPWI Hymnal #688

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #110

Hymns and Psalms #43

Hymns Old and New #479


Psalms for All Seasons #23J

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for Voice and Dulcimer #65

The Book of Hymns (A fresh anthology of favourite hymns) #24


The Cyber Hymnal #1864

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #77

Include 27 pre-1979 instances
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