April 15, 2005
38R The Harp at Nature's Advent Strung
Original Title: "The Harp at Nature's Advent Strung," John Greenleaf Whittier, EVAN, C.M., William Henry Havergal, arranged by Lowell Mason (1850); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), LLANGLOFLAN, 18.104.22.168., Welsh Hymn Melody. Whittier was an anti-slavery Quaker and poet, who was secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Though born in Boston, he lived in Philadelphia where he edited the Pennsylvania Freeman. The complete, original poem, called "The Worship of Nature" contains ten verses, rather than the six below, or the five in Hymns of the Spirit Two and the five in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 74 (It is not contained in The New Century Hymnal). Though anthologized in The Complete Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1894), the poem was first published in 1867. "All the earth . . . make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, . . . Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 98:4-7 "You have kept the good wine until now," John 2:10, Nehemiah 8:10.
1. The harp at Na-ture's ad-vent strung
has never ceas-ed to play;
the song the stars of morn-ing sung
has ne-ver died a-way.
And prayer is made, and praise is given,
by all things near and far;
the o-cean look-eth up to heaven,
and mirr-ors eve-ry star.
2. Its waves are kneel-ing on the strand,
as kneels the hu-man knee,
their white locks bow-ing to the sand,
the priest-hood of the sea!
The green earth sends its in-cense up
from many a moun-tain shrine;
from fold-ed leaf and de-wy cup
and pours a sacr-ed wine.
3. The blue sky is the tem-ple's arch,
its tran-sept earth and air,
the mu-sic of its star-ry march
the cho-rus of a prayer.
So Na-ture keeps the re-verent frame
with which the years be-gan,
and all the signs and voi-ces shame
the prayer-less heart a-gain.
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June 21, 2005
90R The Morning Hangs a Signal
Original Title: "The Morning Hangs a Signal," William Channing Gannett, MEIRIONYDD, 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199., William Lloyd (1840); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2007), same hymn tune. William Channing Gannett (1840-1923) was an American Unitarian minister, particularly active within the Western Unitarian Conference. He was author of a document of great historical importance to the WUC entitled "Things Commonly Believed Among Us". He played a particularly important role in the women's suffrage movement in the United States; Susan B. Anthony was amongst his congregants while a pastor in Rochester, New York. "I appointed you a prophet to the nations . . . Now I have put my words in your mouth," Jeremiah 1:5, 9 (NRSV). "No prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown," Luke 4:24. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?," Psalm 27:1 (KJV). "But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings," Malachi 4:2 (NRSV); see also Psalm 19:5-6, 84:11, Matthew 13:43, Isaiah 58:8. "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star, Revelation 22:16 (KJV), see also Joel 2:2. "Is not my word like fire," Jeremiah 23:29 (NRSV); see also Jeremiah 5:14. The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal, but it does appear in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 40, slightly modified from how it appears in Hymns of the Spirit Two, and in a form with minor differences from below.
1. The morn-ing hangs a sig-nal
up-on the moun-tain crest,
while all the sleep-ing val-leys
in sil-ent dark-ness rest;
From peak to peak it flash-es,
it laughs a-long the sky,
til glo-ry of the sun-light
on all the land doth lie.
2. A-bove the gen-er-a-tions,
the lone-ly proph-ets rise,
while truth flings dawn and day-star
with-in their glow-ing eyes;
And oth-er eyes, be-hold-ing,
are kind-led from that flame,
and dawn be-com-eth morn-ing,
as proph-ehts Love pro-claim.
3. The soul hath lift-ed mo-ments,
a-bove the drift of days,
when life's great mean-ing break-eth
in sun-rise on our ways;
Be-hold the ra-diant to-ken
of faith a-bove all fear;
Night soon shall end its splen-dor
that morn-ing shall ap-pear.
All materials may be reproduced for non-profit local and congregational use. We request notification of use, in addition to notification of any changes made when materials are used so we might benefit from the insight of others. Any materials used or reproduced in any way must bear the notation "(c) 2007 Richard E. Hurst, for non-profit local and congregational use only, all other rights reserved."