Cecil Frances Alexander

(Early April 1818 – 12 October 1895 / Dublin)

Maker of Heaven and Earth (All Things Bright and Beautiful)


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;--

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem (Maker of Heaven and Earth (All Things Bright and Beautiful) by Cecil Frances Alexander )

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  • M.L Bennett (4/16/2012 7:31:00 PM)

    Ha! Just realized why this seemed familiar to me. Wow, I feel a bit dumb now... Especially since Cecil won't be reading my previous comment ;) (Report) Reply

  • Todd Victor Leone (5/20/2009 7:03:00 PM)

    While this poem is dear to me - I've known it and sung it since I was five years old, I am disturbed by the 'rich man vs. poor man' verse, which is always omitted in every church hymnal I've ever seen. It was certainly omitted in the wonderful Sunday school workbook they handed out in 1957 at the Episcopal church in Downey, California (St. Mark's) and rightly so.

    The notion that God justly made some human beings wealthy and made others poor was a very Victorian notion that Cecil Frances Alexander unfortunately included in her thinking. She was without doubt a product of her age and environment.

    I cannot fathom trying to justify the disparities in our world - and the fact that 2/3 of humanity is either starving or living in a state of chronic malnutrition - by saying it's God's intention. I believe the opposite. It is given to us, I believe, to do something about the problem, and poverty is a great social crime (as George Bernard Shaw believed) that all people should work to eliminate.

    Still, we need to know that verse is there, even if we justly omit it when singing these words. Apart from that verse, the sentiment is spot on. Every creature belongs to God who made all things well. (Report) Reply

  • Jacob Glackman (4/10/2007 7:06:00 AM)

    This poem uses God to justify the great and brutal difference between rich and poor in 19th century Britain. It isn't man's faul but God's why some of his children are clemming to death and why some live in luxury. The justification for the gap between rich and poor is a big part of this hymn and should not be overlooked. (Report) Reply

  • Kelsey Wills (2/9/2007 11:37:00 PM)

    I love this poem. Not every poem needs to be complicated and intricate to be great. It's simple, yet beautiful. :) (Report) Reply

  • Nagamuthu Osho (8/23/2005 1:46:00 AM)

    Hail! Holy Soul Sour! and Sail!

    It is thine enlightment and enchantment of Words, flows and glows, thro' those Great Gaint, Saint of Bards..... those words... fly, sly like those phenix to pinnacle...to mannacle the minds of millions.
    Let Lord give us grace and Peace.
    God Bless us, with abyssand billows of Bliss. (Report) Reply

  • Rajaram Ramachandran (3/21/2005 12:06:00 AM)

    A very good poem indeed! God has created every beautiful thing for us. Rightly you have said that God has also given us eyes to see them and lips to tell about them, without which the world does not exist for us. (Report) Reply

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