The Words to 'Be Thou My Vision'
The original words to the hymn date back as far as 6th Century Ireland, and to the prolific Irish writer Dallan Forgaill (c.530-598), with the original title 'Rop tú mo Baile' . It is said that such was his zealousness for writing poetry and studying that it led to his blindness. In his day, Forgaill reformed the Bardic Order, helping to preserve the Gaelic traditional literature and language.
The original words of 'Be Thou My Vision' recorded in Old Irish were used widely in the Monastic tradition before being set to music.
The next major development in the hymn came at the turn of the twentieth century, when Mary E. Byrne translated the Irish words into English, recorded in 1905 in the journal of the School of Irish Learning. Another scholar in 1912, Eleanor H. Hull (founder of the Irish Text Society), versified the words. This was to become the modern form of the hymn.