When bending over the brink of life

When bending over the brink of life

Author: William Bengo Collyer
Tune: ABRIDGE (Smith)
Published in 95 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 When, bending o'er the brink of life,
My trembling soul shall stand,
Waiting to pass death's awful flood,
Great God, at thy command!

2 When weeping friends surround my bed,
And close my sightless eyes;
When shatter'd by the weight of years
This broken body lies:

3 When ev'ry long-lov'd scene of life
Stands ready to depart;
When the last sigh that shakes the frame
Shall rend this bursting heart:

4 O, thou great Source of joy supreme,
Whose arm alone can save,
Dispel the darkness that surrounds
The entrance to the grave!

5 Lay thy supporting gentle hand
Beneath my sinking head;
And, with a ray of love divine,
Illume my dying bed!

Source: A Collection of Hymns and Prayers, for Public and Private Worship #363

Author: William Bengo Collyer

William Bengo Collyer was born at Blackheath Hill, in 1782, and studied at Homerton College. Before completing his twentieth year he became pastor of a Congregational society at Peckham, continuing in that position through his life. He died in 1854. He received the degree of D.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 1808. For many years he was one of the most popular Dissenting ministers in London. He published many hymns and some works on theology. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When bending over the brink of life
Author: William Bengo Collyer
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


When bending o'er [on] the brink of life. W. B. Collyer. [Death anticipated.] Published in his Collection, &c, 1812, No. 827, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. It is found in several modern hymnals, but usually in an abbreviated form. It presents death in its saddest form, and embodies a prayer for divine assistance. In several American collections, including the Methodist Episcopal Hymns, 1849; their new Methodist Hymnal, 1878; and others, it is rewritten in S.M. as, "When on the brink of death."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


When bending o'er the brink of life, p. 1268, i. In the Evangelical Magazine, 1805, p. 480.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #12552
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The Cyber Hymnal #12552

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