“O Love” was inspired by the words of Scottish minister, George Matheson in 1882. When he was blinded at the age of nineteen, his fiancé called off their engagement and his sister cared for him as he endured new challenges. Years later, on the eve of his sister’s wedding, he faced the painful reminder of his own heartache and loss as he penned the words to this hymn. Given a fresh melody, this setting for SATB choir (and optional cello) uses hopeful ascending lines representing renewed faith. Though lingering dissonances remind us of past heartache, the beautiful promise remains: “morn shall tearless be.”
O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thy ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Joy that seeks me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.