National Portrait Gallery

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Born: Oc­to­ber 7, 1810, Blooms­bu­ry, Mid­dle­sex, Eng­land.

Died: Jan­ua­ry 12, 1871, Can­ter­bu­ry, Kent, Eng­land. For his own epi­taph, he wrote: De­ver­so­ri­um via­tor­is pro­fi­ci­en­tis Hie­ro­so­ly­mam (The inn of a pil­grim tra­vel­ing to Je­ru­sa­lem).

Buried: St. Mar­tin’s, Can­ter­bu­ry, Kent, Engl­and.



Henry was the son of the cu­rate at Stee­ple Ash­ton, Wilt­shire.

Hey wrote the fol­low­ing in his Bible at age 16:

I do this day in the pre­sence of God and my own soul re­new my co­ve­nant with God and so­lemn­ly de­ter­mine hence­forth to be­come his and to do his work as far as in me lies.

Alford at­tend­ed Il­min­ster Gram­mar School and Tri­ni­ty College, Cam­bridge, and was or­dained in 1833.

He was cu­rate at Wink­field, Wilt­shire, and Amp­ton, and vi­car at Wymes­wold, Lei­ces­ter­shire (where he served 18 years). He twice re­fused ap­point­ment as a bi­shop in the co­lo­nies.

In 1853, he went to Que­bec Cha­pel, Lon­don. In 1857, he be­came dean of Can­ter­bu­ry Ca­thed­ral.

He ed­it­ed the Con­tem­po­ra­ry Re­view (1866–70), and wrote nu­mer­ous vol­umes on Ho­mer, Eng­lish po­et­ry, and the Greek New Tes­ta­ment.



An Easter Ode

The calm of blessèd night
Is on Judæa’s hills;
The full-orbed moon with cloudless light
Is sparkling on their rills:
One spot above the rest
Is still and tranquil seen,
The chamber as of something blest,
Amidst its bowers of green.

Around that spot each way
The figures ye may trace
Of men-at-arms in grim array,
Girding the solemn place:
But other bands are there—
And, glistening through the gloom,
Legions of angels bright and fair
Throng to that wondrous tomb.

“Praise be to God on high
The triumph-hour is near;
The Lord hath won the victory,
The foe is vanquished here!
Dark Grave, yield up the dead—
Give up thy prey, thou Earth;
In death He bowed His sacred head—
He springs anew to birth!

Sharp was the wreath of thorns
Around His suffering brow;
But glory rich His head adorns,
And angels crown Him now.
Roll yonder rock away
That bars the marble gate;
And gather we in bright array
To swell the Victor’s state!’”

“Hail, hail, hail!
The Lord is ris’n indeed!
The curse is made of none avail;
The sons of men are freed!"

Henry Alford (1810–1871)