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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles

Henry Twells (1823–1900)

ONE of the most popular as well as one of the most beautiful of modern hymns is that of the Rev. Henry Twells which follows. Mr. Twells was born in 1823, and educated at St. Peter’s College, Cambridge. He was curate of Great Berkhampstead, 1849–51; Sub-Vicar of Stratford-on-Avon, 1851–54; Rector of Baldock, Herts, 1870, and of Waltham-on-the-Wolds, 1871; Select Preacher at Cambridge, 1873–74; and Canon of Peterborough, 1884. From 1854 to 1870 he was engaged in education. He has written several hymns, but his evening hymn is the one by which he is best known. In some collections the first line is altered and the fourth verse omitted. The word “when” is sometimes substituted for “ere” and the word “did” for “was” in the former. The following is the original form, though it was first published in “Hymns Ancient and Modern,” Appendix, 1868, without the fourth verse.