Sir Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877), the author of this hymn and also the vicar of Monkland Priory Church in Herefordshire, England. He wrote many hymns of fine emotion and intellect, and yet his lyrical transcription of the 23rd Psalm was what came to him as he approached “death’s dark vale.” He died in 1877 in the parsonage of the church where he had served for more than thirty years – he is said to have spoken stanza three of this hymn as his last words before dying1.
The King of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his,
And he is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow,
My ransomed soul he leadeth;
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me;
And on his shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
With thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
And so through all the length of days,
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house forever.