by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 - 1892)

Hymn of the Time
Language: English 
O Thou, whose presence went before
Our fathers in their weary way,
As with Thy chosen moved of yore
The fire by night the cloud by day!
 
When from each temple of the free,
A nation's song ascends to Heaven,
Most Holy Father! unto Thee
May not our humble prayer be given?
 
Thy children all though hue and form
Are varied in Thine own good will
With Thy own holy breathings warm,
And fashioned in Thine image still.
 
We thank Thee, Father! hill and plain
Around us wave their fruits once more,
And clustered vine, and blossomed grain,
Are bending round each cottage door.
 
And peace is here; and hope and love
Are round us as a mantle thrown,
And unto Thee, supreme above,
The knee of prayer is bowed alone.
 
But oh, for those this day can bring,
As unto us, no joyful thrill
For those who, under Freedom s wing,
Are bound in Slavery s fetters still!
 
For those to whom Thy living word
Of light and love is never given
For those whose ears have never heard
The promise and the hope of Heaven!
 
For broken heart, and clouded mind,
Whereon no human mercies fall
Oh, be Thy gracious love inclined,
Who, as a father, pitiest all!
 
[And]1 grant, [O]1 Father! that the time
Of Earth s deliverance may be near,
When every land, and tongue, and clime,
The message of Thy love shall hear.
 
When, smitten as with fire from heaven,
The captive's chain shall sink in dust,
And to his fettered soul be given
The glorious freedom of the just!

K. Weigl sets stanzas 1, 3-4, 6, 8-10

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Weigl: "Oh"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2009-06-11 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-09-29 09:11:42
Line count: 40
Word count: 265