Giving Nineteenth Century Women Writers a Voice and a Face — Frances Ridley Havergal [pseuds. Sabrina, Zoide] (1836–1879)

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Frances Ridley Havergal, “Consecration Hymn,”
Loyal Responses; or, Daily Melodies for the King’s Minstrels,
London: James Nisbet & Co., 1878.

Dr. Krista Lysack, Assistant Professor of English, King’s University College at Western University, suggested this hymn as one of the most representative of Frances Ridley Havergal. In her article in Victorian Review, Volume 37, pp. 17-22, Lysack notes what a prolific writer Havergal was, composing over 850 pages of verse and over 75 hymns.

Frances Ridley Havergal began to write verse at the age of seven and committed her life to religious and philanthropic work. Her most widely known hymn is “Take My Life and Let It Be,” quoted above. She also wrote the words for “Like A River Glorious,” “I Gave My Life for Thee,” “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?,” many short devotional tracts, prose narratives designed for children, and a popular autobiography. The Armstrong Browning Library owns one of her books, The Ministry of Song (1880).

  Frances Ridley Havergal. The Ministry of Song.
London: James Nisbet & Co., 1880.

The harp was Frances Havergal’s personal emblem and was published on the cover of her first book, The Ministry of Song, in 1869. The edition featured above was published in 1880 and bears the inscription “FORTY-EIGHT THOUSAND” on the title page, indicating how many books had been published.

Frances Ridley Havergal died of peritonitis at the age of 42.

Melinda Creech