Bode, John Ernest


BODE, John Ernest, b St Pancras, Middx (C London) 1816, d Castle Camps (nr Haverhill), Cambs 1874. Eton Coll, Charterhouse Sch, and Christ Ch Oxford (BA, MA). Ordained (CofE) in 1841, he was Rector of Westwell, nr Burford, Oxon, from 1847 and concurrently a tutor at Christ Ch, until moving to serve Castle Camps in 1860. He ministered in that rural parish for the remaining 14 years of his life, dying there in his 59th year. In 1855 he was Bampton Lecturer at Oxford, and in the election for Prof of Poetry he lost to Matthew Arnold by one vote. His published verse included Ballads from Herodotus (1852) and Short Occasional Poems (1858), and in 1860 came his Hymns from the Gospel of the Day, for each Sunday and the Festivals of our Lord. His reputation now largely rests on his one highly successful hymn, written for a Confirmation service and for many years an almost inevitable choice for that Anglican occasion. But as Cliff Knight points out ‘it makes no mention of Confirmation’, and thus has been used freely by other denominations. Whether Geoffrey Beaumont’s jaunty 1950s tune (echoing ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ and still popular in some circles) has helped or hindered remains an open question. No.901.

Hymns and songs by Bode, John Ernest

Number Hymn Name
901 O Jesus, I have promised