1809 - 1894 Author of "Friendship, science, art" Holmes, Oliver Wendell, M.D, LL.D., son of the Rev. Abiel Holmes, D.D. of Cambridge, U.S.A., was born at Cambridge, Aug. 29, 1809, and educated at Harvard, where he graduated in 1829. After practising for some time in Boston, he was elected in 1847 to the chair of Anatomy, in Harvard. His writings in prose and verse are well known and widely circulated. They excel in humour and pathos. Although not strictly speaking a hymnwriter, a few of his hymns are in extensive use, and include:—
1. Father of mercies, heavenly Friend. Prayer during war.
2. Lord of all being, throned afar. God's Omnipresence. This is a hymn of great merit. It is dated 1848.
3. 0 Lord of hosts, Almighty King. Soldiers’ Hymn. Dated 1861.
4. 0 Love divine that stoop'st to share. Trust. 1859.
Of these Nos. 2 and 4 are in his Professor at the Breakfast Table, and are in common use in Great Britain, in Martineau's Hymns, 1873, and others. In 1886 the D.C.L. degree was conferred upon Professor Holmes by the University of Oxford. He was a member of the Unitarian body. He died Oct 7, 1894. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Holmes, O. W. , p. 530, i. His Songs in Many Keys was published in 1861, his Poems, 1869, and the Cambridge edition of his Complete Poetical Works, 1895. Additional hymns of his have come into common use of late, including:—
1. Land where the banners wave last in the sun. [American National Hymn.] Appeared in his Songs in Many Keys, 1861 (7th ed. 1864, p. 289) as "Freedom, our Queen."
2. Lord, Thou hast led us as of old. [Promised Unity.] In his Before the Curfew and other Poems, chiefly occasional, Boston, 1888, as "An hymn set forth to bo sung by the Great Assembly at Newtown [Mass.]." In the Complete Poetical Works it is dated 1886. The hymn "Soon shall the slumbering morn awake," in Hymns for Church and Home, Boston, 1895, is composed of stanzas v.-vii.
3. Our Father, while our hearts unlearn The creeds that wrong Thy name. [Fruits of the Spirit.] Written for the 25th Anniversary Reorganization of the Poston Young Men's Christian Union, May 31, 1893. In his Complete Poetical Works, 1895, p. 298, Horder's Worship Song, 1905, and other collections.
4. Thou gracious [God] Power Whose mercy lends. [Reunion.] "Written for the annual meeting of the famous class '29, Harvard University, in 1869. ln the Methodist Hymn Book, 1904, it begins "Thou gracious God, Whose mercy lends." [Rev. L. F. Benson, D.D.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)
Oliver Wendell Holmes