Behold a Sower!

Hymn #401
Text: Washington Gladden (1836-1918)
Music: Theodore Parker Ferris (1908-1972)
Tune name: WEYMOUTH

This hymn by a Congregational minister connects the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4ff.) with Psalm 97:11: “There is sprung up a light for the righteous, and joyful gladness for such as are true-hearted.”

1. Behold a Sower! from afar
he goeth forth with might;
the rolling years his furrows are,
his seed, the growing light;
for all the just his word is sown,
it springeth up alway;
the tender blade is hope’s young dawn,
the harvest, love’s new day.

2. O Lord of life, to thee we lift
our hearts in praise for those,
thy prophets, who have shown thy gift
of grace that ever grows,
of truth that spreads from shore to shore,
of wisdom’s widening ray,
of light that shineth more and more
unto thy perfect day.

3. Shine forth, O Light, that we may see,
with hearts all unafraid,
the meaning and the mystery
of things that thou hast made;
shine forth, and let the darkling past
beneath thy beam grow bright;
shine forth, and touch the future vast
with thine untroubled light.

4. Light up thy word; the fettered page
from killing bondage free;
light up our way; lead forth this age
in love’s large liberty.
O Light of Light! within us dwell,
through us thy radiance pour,
that word and life thy truths may tell,
and praise thee evermore.


The tune WEYMOUTH was written by Dr. Theodore Parker Ferris, an Episcopal priest and rector for many years at Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts. Ferris was also a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He named the tune for his summer hometown, Weymouth, Nova Scotia.

Below is Andrew Remillard’s rendition of this hymn on piano.