Posted by: rcottrill | March 17, 2010

Today in 1842 – Hannah Burlingham Born

Hannah Kilham Burlingham was raised in a Quaker home in England, but she joined the Plymouth Brethren in her early twenties. Many of her religious poems and translations appeared in the British Herald. The Cyber Hymnal lists over 40 hymns that came from her pen, but only one has remained in current use, I’m Waiting for Thee. It is a plaintive and lovely little song set to George Root’s tune Jewels (also used with the children’s hymn When He Cometh).

I’m waiting for Thee, Lord,
Thy beauty to see, Lord;
I’m waiting for Thee—
For Thy coming again.
Thou’rt gone over there, Lord,
A place to prepare, Lord,
Thy home I shall share
At Thy coming again.

’Mid danger and fear, Lord,
I’m oft weary here, Lord,
The day must be near of
Thy coming again.
’Tis all sunshine there, Lord,
No sighing nor care, Lord,
But glory so fair
At Thy coming again.

(2) Today in 1864 – Something for Thee published
American Baptist pastor Sylvanus Dryden Phelps (1816-1895) served churches in Connecticut and Rhode Island. He wrote several hymns, but only one, Something for Thee (also known as Saviour, Thy Dying Love) is still in use. Robert Lowry wrote the tune for this hymn, and he said concerning the text:

It is worth living 70 years, even if nothing comes of it but one such hymn….Happy is the man who can produce one song which the world will keep singing after the author shall have passed away. May the tuneful harp preserve its strings for many a long year yet, and the last note reach us only when it is time for the singer to take his place in the heavenly choir.

Phelps was 46 at the time, and Lowry was 36, so the latter seems to be making a general reference to the Bible’s “three-score and ten” (Ps. 90:10), and the productivity of one’s lifetime. Whether or not we would go to Mr. Lowry’s heights of praise, it is a fine hymn. (For a bit more on Sylvanus Phelps and his hymn, see the third item under Today in 1585.)

Saviour, Thy dying love Thou gavest me.
Nor should I aught withhold, dear Lord, from Thee.
In love my soul would bow, my heart fulfil its vow,
Some offering bring Thee now, something for Thee.

Give me a faithful heart, likeness to Thee.
That each departing day henceforth may see
Some work of love begun, some deed of kindness done,
Some wanderer sought and won, something for Thee.


  1. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


%d bloggers like this: