Translator: Mary E. Byrne
Mary Elizabeth Byrne, M.A. (July 2, 1880 – January 19, 1931) was born in Ireland. She translated the Old Irish Hymn, “Bí Thusa ‘mo Shúile,” into English as “Be Thou My Vision” in Ériu (the journal of the School of Irish Learning), in 1905.
1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
2 Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word;
I ever with thee, and thou with me, Lord.
Born of thy love, thy child may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.
3 Be thou my buckler, my sword for the fight.
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight,
thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tow’r.
Raise thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.
4 Riches I heed not, nor vain empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
Ruler of heaven, my treasure thou art.
5 “*True Light of heaven, when vict’ry is won
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
*Alternate phrase: “High King”