Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 25 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Herman “the Cripple”
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Hymn of the week: “The King of Love”

J-P Mauro - published on 04/22/18

A beautiful Irish melody for 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.

This gentle hymn is a poetic reflection on the love of Christ. “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” was written by H.W. Baker in 1868, and is most appropriately sung on the fourth Sunday of Easter. It is based on Psalm 23, and in fact the six stanzas of the hymn correlate to each of the six verses in the Psalm.

Baker wrote the text following the theme of Christ the Good Shepherd and it is an excellent example of his style as a poet, which has been described as “tender sadness, brightened by a soft calm peace.” Baker considered this one of his finest works and the hymn must have held special meaning for him, as the 3rd verse (highlighted above) became his last words on his death bed.

The tune of the hymn is an unattributed Irish melody known as “ST. COLUMBA.” The sweetness of this melody is perfectly suited to Baker’s beautiful text; however his words are also popularly sung to a melody by the English composer John Bacchus Dykes. This tune, known as “DOMINUS REGIT ME,” is much more influenced by the Romantic style of the 19th century, with much grander instrumentation.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.