WilliamWilliams - Pant-y-celyn

Born: February 11, 1717, Pantycelyn, Wales.
Died: January 11, 1791, Pantycelyn, Wales.
Buried: Church of Llanfair (about one mile north of Llandovery, Wales).

From his birth on a farm, Cefn-y-coed, near Llandovery until he left his childhood very little is known of him. Of the six children born to his parents he was the only one to reach maturity. Out of secrecy of these early years he emerges into view as a student at Llwynllwyd Academy near Hay-on-Wye where he was preparing for a career in medicine. All that was changed in 1738 when he heard Howell Harris preaching in the churchyard at Talgarth. Directly after his conversion he felt a call to take holy orders. He was persuaded of this despite the fact that his background was with the Independents, and in 1740 he was appointed curate at Llanwrtvd and Abergwesyn not far from his home.
In the next 43 years he traveled 95,900 miles, bringing the gospel to his country.

Although he was a fine preacher, his output as a writer was prolific and his 800 or more Welsh hymns are what endeared him most to the people. Of those 800, only “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer” or “Cwm Rhondda” is commonly used in English translation today.
In 1749 he was married and went to live at the farm at Pantycelyn, for ever associated with his name - so much so that it is
customary for Welsh people to refer to hymns written by Pantcelyn.

Cwm Rhondda
Words: William Williams, Halleluiah (Bristol, England, 1745).
Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer
Translated from Welsh to English by Peter Williams.
Cwm Rhondda
Music: John Hughes, 1907 (MIDI,).
Alternate tunes (both use slightly different endings to the lyrics): Pilgrimage,  Zion.

This hymn was sung, in Welsh, in the 1941 Academy Award winning movie "How Green Was My Valley."
It was sung in English at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in Westminster Abbey, London, September 6, 1997.
It was also sung on October 1st 1999 at the opening of the new Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Cwm Rhondda 

Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch, 
Fi bererin gwael ei wedd, 
Nad oes ynof nerth na bywyd 
Fel yn gorwedd yn y bedd: 
Ydyw’r Un a’m cwyd i’r lan. 

Colofn dân rho’r nos i’m harwain, 
A rho’r golofn niwl y dydd; 
Dal fi pan bwy’n teithio’r manau 
Geirwon yn fy ffordd y sydd: 
Rho imi fanna, 
Fel na bwyf yn llwfrhau. 

Agor y ffynhonnau melus 
’N tarddu i maes o’r Graig y sydd; 
Colofn dan rho’r nos i’m harwain, 
A rho golofn niwl y dydd; 
Rho i mi fanna 
Fel na bwyf yn llwfwrhau. 

Pan bwy’n myned trwy’r Iorddonen— 
Angeu creulon yn ei rym, 
Ti est trwyddi gynt dy hunan, 
P’am yr ofnaf bellach ddim? 
Gwna imi waeddi yn y llif! 

Ymddiriedaf yn dy allu, 
Mawr yw’r gwaith a wnest erioed: 
Ti gest angau, ti get uffern, 
Ti gest Satan dan dy droed: 
Pen Calfaria, 
Nac aed hwnw byth o’m cof.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer

Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land. 
I am weak, but Thou art mighty; 
Hold me with Thy powerful hand. 
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, 
Feed me till I want no more; 
Feed me till I want no more. 

Open now the crystal fountain, 
Where the living waters flow; 
Let the river of salvation, 
Follow all the desert through. 
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer, 
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield; 
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield. 

Lord, I trust Thy mighty power, 
Wondrous are Thy works of old; 
Thou deliver’st Thine from thraldom, 
Who for nought themselves had sold: 
Thou didst conquer, Thou didst conquer, 
Sin, and Satan and the grave, 
Sin, and Satan and the grave. 

When I tread the verge of Jordan, 
Bid my anxious fears subside; 
Death of death and hell’s destruction, 
Land me safe on Canaan’s side. 
Songs of praises, songs of praises, 
I will ever give to Thee; 
I will ever give to Thee. 

Musing on my habitation, 
Musing on my heav’nly home, 
Fills my soul with holy longings: 
Come, my Jesus, quickly come; 
Vanity is all I see; 
Lord, I long to be with Thee! 
Lord, I long to be with Thee!