Scripture Verse

Master, it is good for us to be here. Luke 9:33


Arthur P. Stanley (1815–1881)

Words: Ar­thur P. Sta­nley, in Mac­mill­an’s Ma­ga­zine, Ap­ril 1870.

Music: Hayes from So­na­ta Op­us 14, No. 2, by Lud­wig van Beet­ho­ven, 1799 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

  • Tallis’ La­men­ta­tion me­lo­dy from Day’s Psal­ter, 1562 (🔊 pdf nwc)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

Origin of the Hymn

It was re­marked to me by a friend that he knew of no mo­dern Eng­lish hymn on the trans­fig­ur­ation, an in­ci­dent of the gos­pel nar­rat­ive so re­mark­able in it­self, so full of ma­ni­fold in­struct­ion, and so fre­quent­ly read in our Church ser­vic­es, and which pe­rhaps more ful­ly than any oth­er sin­gle scene con­tains the con­cen­tr­ation of the main les­sons of our Lord’s life on earth…

I have en­dea­vored to com­bine, as far as pos­si­ble, the Va­ri­ous thoughts con­nect­ed with the scene.

Arthur Stan­ley

Nutter, p. 73


O Mas­ter, it is good to be
High on the mount­ain here with Thee,
Where stand re­vealed to mor­tal gaze
Those glo­ri­ous saints of oth­er days,
Who once re­ceived on Ho­reb’s height
Th’eter­nal laws of truth and right,
Or caught the still small whis­per, high­er
Than storm, than earth­quake, or than fire.

O Mas­ter, it is good to be
With Thee, and with Thy faith­ful three;
Here, where the Apos­tle’s heart of rock
Is nerved against temp­ta­tion’s shock;
Here, where the Son of Thun­der learns
The thought that breathes, and word that burns;
Here, where on ea­gle wings we move
With him whose last best creed is love.

O Ma­ster, it is good to be
Entranced, en­wrapt, alone with Thee;
And watch Thy glist­en­ing rai­ment glow
Whiter than Her­mon’s whit­est snow;
The hu­man lin­ea­ments that shine
Irradiant with a light di­vine;
Till we too change from grace to grace,
Gazing on that trans­fig­ured face.

O Mas­ter, it is good to be
Here on the ho­ly mount with Thee;
When dark­ling in the depths of night,
When daz­zled with ex­cess of light,
We bow be­fore the heav’n­ly voice
That bids be­wil­dered souls re­joice,
Though love wax cold, and faith be dim,
This is My Son, O hear ye Him.

The Transfiguration
James Tissot (1836-1802)
Wikimedia Commons