A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

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Alternate Names

  • The Stranger and His Friend[1]
  • The Stranger[2]

Sheet Music

Using the tune Hyrum


  • 'Hyrum', by Unknown Composer; arranged and adapted by Ebenezer Beesley[3] (1840–1906), 1887[4] (tune also known as 'Man of Grief', and, probably erroneously, 'Duane Street')
    • Note: 'Hyrum' is the tune used in hymnals of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although it is referred to as 'Duane Street', probably by mistake[5].
      • Contributor note: If you can find any earlier source attributing this tune to George Coles and/or calling it 'Duane Street' than the 1939 one in the reference above, please contact me. It is my opinion that the rumor began in the 1939 publication, but I would love to be proven wrong, if I am. Veramet 16:34, 14 October 2011 (MDT)
  • 'Duane Street', by George Coles (1792–1858)
    • Note: 'Duane Street' is not the tune used in hymnals of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some claim that 'Duane Street' does have musical similarities, however.
  • 'Sagina', by Thomas Campbell, 1835
  • 'St. Crispin', by George Job Elvey, 1862
  • 'Sweet Hour', by William Batchelder Bradbury, 1861


Lyrics from A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe, 1840

(this version did have some of the verses split up in half)

Hymn 225
1. A poor wayfaring man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer Nay:
I had not power to ask his name,
Whither he went or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love, I know not why.

2. Once when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake;
Just perishing for want of bread;
I gave him all: he blessed it, brake;
And ate, but gave me part again;
Mine was an angel's portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.

3. I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; - his strength was gone;
The heedless water mocked his thirst,
He heard it, saw it, hurrying on:
I ran and raised the sufferer up,
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o'er;
I drank, and never thirsted more.

4. 'Twas night, the floods were out, it blew
A winter hurricane aloof;
I heard his voice abroad, and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof:
I warmed, I clothed, I cheered my guest,
I laid him on my couch to rest,
Then made the earth my bed, and seemed
In Eden's garden while I dreamed.

5. Stript, wounded beaten, nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side;
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment; he was healed;
I had, myself, a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

6. In prison I saw him next, - condemned
To meet a traitor's doom at morn;
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honoured him mid'st shame and scorn:
My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
He asked - if I for him would die;
The flesh was weak, my blood ran chill,
But the free Spirit cried, "I will."

7. Then in a moment to my view,
The stranger started from disguise;
The tokens in his hands I knew,
My Saviour stood before mine eyes;
He spake - and my poor name he named. -
"Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
"These deeds shall thy memorial be;
"Fear not, thou didst them unto me."

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