Scripture Verse

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord. John 1:23


Henry Alford (1810–1871)
National Portrait Gallery


Words: Hen­ry Al­ford, The Year of Praise 1867.

Music: St. Ni­co­las (Hoyte) Will­iam S. Hoyte, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Hoyte (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Herald, in the wil­der­ness,
Breaking up the road,
Sinking mount­ains, rais­ing plains,
For the path of God;

Prophet, to the mul­ti­tudes
Calling to re­pent,
In the way of right­eous­ness
Unto Is­ra­el sent;

Messenger, God’s chos­en one
Foremost to pro­claim,
Proffered ti­tles pass­ing by,
Pointing to the Lamb.

Captive, for the word of truth
Boldly wit­nessing;
Then in Her­od’s dun­geon cave,
Faint and lang­uish­ing;

Martyr, sac­ri­ficed to sin
At that feast of shame;
As his life fore­showed the Lord,
In his death the same—

Holy Je­sus, when He heard,
Went apart to pray:
Thus may we our les­son take
From his saint to­day.