Be Still My Soul

by Katharina von Schlegel

Very little is known of the origins of this hymn or of its author. Katharina von Schlegel, born in 1697, was probably head of a Women's House of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Cöthen in Germany. Her hymn was discovered and translated by Jane L. Borthwick (1813-97), and its popularity today is no doubt due to its setting to Sibelius' famous melody Finlandia. The hymn is an expression of deep piety and trust in God, a fine example of the German pietistic experience.

Be still, my soul: the Lord in on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still my soul; when change and fear are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

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