A Prayer
(My God! O let me call Thee mine!)

Written: October 13th. 1844.  First Published: 1850.

This hymn was written at Thorp Green in October 1844. It was originally titled 'A Prayer', though seems to be more commonly known as 'My God! O let me call Thee mine!'. After writing the verses, Anne set them to the then well known tune called 'Justification', and proceeded to write the hymn down in her music manuscript copy-book (see link below). The tune made it such that she had to repeat the last line of each verse, though this is traditional in evangelical hymnology.120

Edward Chitham explains: 'The hymn was very much in the Wesleyan tradition, requesting faith in the coming trials and mourning over the past. Its tone suggests that Anne Brontë's cheerful experience at Scarborough had been replaced by another period of self-doubt.'

  Picture of the hymn set to the tune 'Justification' in Anne's music book (56K)

It was first published in 1850 after it had been chosen, by Charlotte, to appear in a selection of Anne's and Emily's poems which were to be incorporated into the 1850 re-issue of Wuthering Heights/Agnes Grey, though these versions of the poems were heavily edited by Charlotte.

(See also: Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.34, p.105 & p.181; and 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.114)

My God! O let me call Thee mine!
Weak wretched sinner though I be,
My trembling soul would fain be Thine,
My feeble faith still clings to Thee,
            My feeble faith still clings to Thee.

Not only for the past I grieve,
The future fills me with dismay;
Unless Thou hasten to relieve,
I know my heart will fall away,
            I know my heart will fall away.

I cannot say my faith is strong,
I dare not hope my love is great;
But strength and love to Thee belong,
O, do not leave me desolate!
            O, do not leave me desolate!

I know I owe my all to Thee,
O, take this heart I cannot give.
Do Thou my Strength my Saviour be;
And make me to Thy glory live!
            And make me to Thy glory live!

Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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