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December 14, 2005

215R Not Always on the Mount May We

Original Title: "Not Always On the Mount May We," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1912), TRANSYLVANIA, L.M., arranged from a 16th Century Hungarian Chorale, by Robert Levine Sanders; New Title: Same title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but TRANSYLVANIA is paired therein with hymn no. 322, "Thanks Be for These," by the Gilberts. In some ways, the hymn in Singing the Living Tradition is a rewrite of the present hymn using more humanistic images (though not lacking suggestions of the Divine), for example substituting "the Spirit's tidal ebb and flow" with "moments of grief, days of delight, triumph and failure intertwine." Hosmer was an American Unitarian; Richard Seward Gilbert and Joyce Timmerman Gilbert are 20th Century Unitarian Universalists. It is worth pointing out that the earlier hymn fits into what must be an exceedingly limited collection of music, that being "hymns written by Unitarians in North America for Transfiguration Sunday" (the Sunday immediately prior to Ash Wednesday); See Luke 9:29-31.


1. Not al-ways on the mount may we
rapt in the heaven-ly vi-sion be:
The shores of thought and feel-ing know
the Spir-it's ti-dal ebb and flow.

2. 'O it is good a-bid-ing here,'
We cry, the heaven-ly pre-sence near:
The vi-sion va-nish-es, our eyes
are lift-ed in-to va-cant skies.

3. Yet has one such ex-al-ted hour
up-on the soul re-deem-ing power,
and in its strength, through af-ter days,
we tra-vel our ap-poin-ted ways,

4. Till all the low-ly vale grows bright,
trans-fi-gured in re-mem-bered light,
and in un-ti-ring souls we bear
the fresh-ness of the up-per air.

5. The mount for vi-sion: but be-low
the paths of dai-ly du-ty go,
and no-bler life there-in shall own
the pat-tern on the moun-tain shown.

Word Score
PDF Score
Noteworthy Composer File

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Posted by rehurst at December 14, 2005 02:38 AM


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