James M. Whitfield's America and Other Poems

  Table of Contents:
Cover Page
"Christmas Hymn"
"Lines on the Death of J. Quincy Adams"
"To Cinque"
"New Year's Hymn"
"To A.H."
"How Long"
"The Arch Apostate"
"The Misanthropist"
"A Hymn"
"Yes! strike again that sounding string"
"To -------"
"Prayer of the Oppressed"
"To S.A.T."
"Delusive Hope"
"To M.E.A."
"A Hymn"
"Ode for the Fourth of July"
"Midnight Musings"
"Ode to Music"
"Stanzas for the First of August"
"The North Star"
(text of all poems)

  A Hymn p1
"A Hymn"
close-up 1 | 2 | 3



GOD of our sires! before thy throne
   Our humble offering now we bring;
Deign to accept it as thine own,
   And dwell therein, Almighty King.
A Hymn p2 Around thy glorious throne above
   Angels and flaming seraphs sing,
Archangels own thy boundless love,
   And cherubim their tribute bring.

And every swiftly rolling sphere,
   That wends its way through boundless space,
Hymns forth, in chorus loud and clear,
   Its mighty Maker’s power and grace.
It is not ours to bear the parts
   In that celestial song of praise,
But here, oh Lord! with grateful hearts,
   This earthly fane to thee we raise.

Oh, let thy presence fill this house,
   And from its portals ne’er depart;
Accept, oh Lord! the humble vows
   Poured forth by every contrite heart.
No sacrifice of beast or bird,
   No clouds of incense here shall rise,
But in accordance with thy word,
   We’ll bring a holier sacrifice.

  A Hymn p3 Here shall the hoary-headed sire
   Invoke they grace on bended knee,
While youth shall catch the sacred fire,
   And pour its song of praise to thee.
Let childhood, too, with stammering tongue,
   Here lisp thy name with reverent awe,
And high, and low, and old, and young,
   Be brought t’ obey thy holy law.

And when our spirits shall return
   Back to the God who gave them birth,
And these frail bodies shall be borne
   To mingle with their kindred earth ---
Then, in that house not made with hands,
   New anthems to thy praise we’ll sing,
To thee, who burst our slavish bands,
   Our savior, prophet, priest and king.

Introduction Biography Contexts Critical Voices Teaching Approaches Bibliography