Biography of Henry Alford
Henry Alford (October 7, 1810 – January 12, 1871) was an English churchman, theologian, textual critic, scholar, poet, hymnodist, and writer.
Alford was a talented artist, as his picture-book, The Riviera (1870), shows, and he had abundant musical and mechanical talent. Besides editing the works of John Donne, he published several volumes of his own verse, The School of the Heart (1835), The Abbot of Muchelnaye (1841), The Greek Testament. The Four Gospels (1849), and a number of hymns, the best-known of which are "Forward! be our watchword," "Come, ye thankful people, come," and "Ten thousand times ten thousand." He translated the Odyssey, wrote a well-known manual of idiom, A Plea for the Queen's English (1863), and was the first editor of the Contemporary Review (1866–1870).
His chief fame rests on his monumental edition of the New Testament in Greek (4 vols.), which occupied him from 1841 to 1861. In this work he first produced a careful collation of the readings of the chief manuscripts and the researches of the ripest continental scholarship of his day. Philological rather than theological in character, it marked an epochal change from the old homiletic commentary, and though more recent research, patristic and papyral, has largely changed the method of New Testament exegesis, Alford's work is still a quarry where the student can dig with a good deal of profit.
His Life, written by his widow, appeared in 1873 (Rivington).
Henry Alford Poems
You And I
My hand is lonely for your clasping, dear; My ear is tired waiting for your call. I want your strength to help, your laugh to cheer;
Sonnet Xci. Passion-Week 1845
Again the solemn season--and again That bleeding Brow, those wounded Hands and Feet-- Again that piercèd Side my vision meet;
Sonnet Xvi. Recollection Of Wordsworth’s
Here are the brows of Quantock, purple--clad With lavish heath--bloom: there, the banks of Tone. Where is that woman, love--forlorn and sad,
Sonnet Xxvii. Heu Quanto Minus Est Cum ...
The sweetest flower that ever saw the light, The smoothest stream that ever wandered by, The fairest star upon the brow of night,
Sonnet Xxxix. To The Wood-Pigeon. Writte...
Tell me, thou mild and melancholy bird, Whence learnedst thou that meditative voice? For all the forest--passages rejoice,
A Hymn For Family Worship
Saviour of them that trust in Thee, Once more, with supplicating cries, We lift the heart and bend the knee, And bid Devotion's incense rise.
An Easter Ode.
The calm of blessed Night Is on Judaea's hills; The full--orbed moon with cloudless light Is sparkling on their rills:
Filioae Dulcissimae. An Easter Offering
Say wilt thou think of me when I'm away, Borne from the threshold and laid in the clay, Past and forgotten for many a day?
Sonnet V. My Own Dear Country, Thy Remem...
My own dear country, thy remembrance comes Like softly--flowing music on my heart; With thy green sunny hills, and happy homes,
Sonnet Xl. Easter-Eve, 1833.
I saw two women weeping by the tomb Of one new--buried, in a fair green place Bowered with shrubs; the eve retained no trace
The cowslip standeth in the grass, The primrose in the budding grove Hath laid her pale fair breast On the green sward to rest:
'RISE,' said the Master, 'come unto the feast.' She heard the call and rose with willing feet; But thinking it not otherwise than meet For such a bidding to put on her best,
Christmas Eve 1836
The stars are clear and frosty, and the Earth Is laid in her first sleep, secure and calm; The glorious works of God, as at the first,
Hymn To The Sea
Who shall declare the secret of thy birth, Thou old companion of the circling earth? And having reached with keen poetic sight
Thou child of Man, fall down
With contrite heart and low;
Inheritor by fleshly birth
Of exile, death, and woe.
Thou child of Man, rejoice!
The righteous One hath died:
Behold by faith thy seals of Love,
His hands, His feet, His side!