White shines new light on this familiar Irish text and tune. Understated in its simplicity, his setting radiates the warmth and natuural beauty so often associated with Celtic spirituality..
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
all else be nought to me, save that thou art--
thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou and thou only, first in my heart;
great God of heaven, my treasure thou art.
Great God of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven's joys, bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
--Irish, ca. 700; vers. Mary Elizabeth Byrne; tr. Eleanor H. Hull, alt.