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The King of Love My Shepherd Is
Psalm 23
DOMINUS REGIT ME  |  Hymn History  |  Bible Passage
Author: Henry W. Baker, 1821-1877
Musician: John B. Dykes, 1823-1876

  Play MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His,
And He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home rejoicing brought me.

In death's dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread'st a table in my sight;
Thine unction grace bestoweth;
And O the transport of delight
With which my cup o'erfloweth!

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never:
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever!



HYMN HISTORY:

If down the years the great Shepherd Psalm has been turned and twisted to suit the generations and their singing capacities, no one did it more happily than Sir Henry Williams Baker in this hymn. He devoted his life (1821-77) to hymns, and stayed for twenty-six years as vicar in the little village of Monkland amongst the apple orchards of England's Herefordshire in order that he might write hymns and edit hymn-books.

For years he worked on the first comprehensive hymn-book that was offered to the Church of England, which has won such a place of affection for itself, "Hymns, Ancient and Modern," and was himself a prolific contributor to it.

Baker's rendering of Psalm 23 is his monument. It has as easy swing about it.

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His,
And He is mine, for ever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And, where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Verse three is particularly expressive of the Good Shepherd.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.

These were the last words that Baker spoke as he lay dying - as tender a verse as any written in the hymn-books.


BIBLE PASSAGE:

1 ¶ The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.



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