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May 21, 2005

62R Rise, My Soul, and Stretch Your Wings

Words: Robert Seagrave (1742), alt. REH (2005); Music: AMSTERDAM,, James Nares, Foundery Collection (1742). Seagrave was English and Anglican. "In My Father’s house there are many rooms . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you," John 14:2. This 18th century hymn is by no means the oldest in Hymns of the Spirit Two, but its lyrics do seem decidedly "unmodern" for the collection. Despite their relatively late composition, they might best be viewed through both pre- and post-modern sensibilities. We are counseled to rise above "transitory things" toward a life of our final destination, toward a life of our ultimate meaning-- toward "heaven." Rather than speaking of "the eternal life," which conjures up images of eternal activity, Seagrave speaks instead of "rest," what the heart and mind and soul seek from time to time in this life too. The sun's daily return does indeed promise the possibility of that elusive paradise, particularly in these days when our "modern," overscheduled lives would seem to leave so little room for rest, or play, or relaxation of any unscripted sort. Rise, and stretch! The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition or The New Century Hymnal.


1. Rise, my soul, and stretch your wings, your bet-ter por-tion trace.
Rise from tran-si-to-ry things towards heaven, your des-tined place!
Sun and moons and stars de-cay; time might soon this earth re-move:
Rise, my soul, and haste a-way to seats pre-pared a-bove.

2. Riv-ers to the o-cean run, nor stay in all their course;
Fire as-cend-ing seeks the sun; both speed them to their source:
So my soul, de-rived from God, longs to view God's glo-rious face,
For-ward tends to that a-bode, to rest in that em-brace.

3. Cease, O pil-grims, cease to mourn, press on-ward to the prize;
The Dawn's dai-ly sure re-turn pro-mis-es par-a-dise:
There is ev-er-last-ing peace; rest, may this day's rest, be heaven;
There too ev-en sor-rows cease, and crowns of joy be given.

Word Score
PDF Score
Noteworthy Composer File

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Posted by rehurst at May 21, 2005 10:09 PM

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