1 God bless our native land;
Firm may she ever stand
Through storm and night.
When the wild tempests rave,
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do Thou our country save
By Thy great might.
2 So shall our prayers arise
To God above the skies;
On Him we wait.
Thou who art ever nigh,
Guarding with watchful eye,
To Thee aloud we cry:
God save the state!
Source: Lutheran Service Book #965
|First Line:||God bless our native land! Firm may she ever stand|
|Title:||God bless our native land|
|German Title:||Gott segne Sachserland|
|Author:||Siegfried A. Mahlmann (1815)|
|Translator (remaining lines):||John Sullivan Dwight (1844)|
|Translator (first 5 lines):||Charles Timothy Brooks (c. 1833)|
"God bless our native land! Firm may she ever stand Through storm and night! When the wild tempests rave, Ruler of wind and wave, Father Eternal, save Us by Thy might! "Lo! our hearts' prayers arise Into the upper skies, Regions of light! He Who hath heard each sigh, Watches each weeping eye: He is forever nigh, Avenger of Right."ii. The next form of this hymn is by the Rev. J, S. Dwight (p, 1560, ii.), and reads:—
"God bless our native land! Firm may she ever stand Through storm and night! When the wild ternpests rave, Ruler of wind and wave, Do Thou our country save By Thy great might! “For her our prayers shall rise To God above the skies: On Him we wait. Thou Who art ever nigh, Guarding with watchful eye, To Thee aloud we cry, God save the State!"The italics in the above indicate the alterations made in C. T. Brooks's text by J. S. Dwight. Putnam says (Songs of the Liberal Faith, 1874, p. 370) that this text was first introduced, it is supposed, into one of Lowell Mason's singing books." The American authorities date it 1844. iii. The third form appeared in Hedge and Huntington's Unitarian Hymns for the Church of Christ, Boston, 1853, No. 463. In this st. i. and st. ii., lines 1-3 are from the second form above. The remaining Iines read:—
"Thou Who hast heard each sigh, Watching each weeping eye, Be Thou for ever nigh;— God save the State."iv. The fourth form appeared in the Unitarian Hymns of the Spirit, Boston, 1864, No. 251. In this st. i. is from No. ii. as above, st. ii. is altered therefrom, and st. iii. is new:—
St. ii. "For her our prayers shall be, Our fathers' God, to Thee, On Thee we wait! Be her walls Holiness; Her rulers Righteousness; Her officers be Peace; God save the State!" St. iii. "Lord of all truth and right, In Whom alone is might, On Thee we call! Give us prosperity; Give us true liberty; May all the oppressed go free; God save us all! "v. In addition to the foregoing there are a few variations to be found in some American collections. Practically, however, the above is a resume of the history of the American hymn. II. The English History and Texts. Under the date of Oct. 17, 1869, William Edward Hickson (d. 1870) then of Fairseat, Wrotham, Kent, wrote to Daniel Sedgwick, claiming that he was the author of "God bless our native land," which he had seen attributed to J. S. Dwight. Sedgwick pointed out that there were two distinct hymns with the same first line, one of which was certainly American in origin, and the other might possibly be by Mr. Hickson. Eventually this proved to be the case. Hickson's account of his hymn is" it was written by me in 1836 as a new national anthem," and "appeared in the ‘Second Class Tune Book,' No. 3, of the Singing Master." The Singing Master was published in 1836 (2nd ed. 1837). This hymn is in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. The opening stanza reads:—
”God bless our native land! May heaven's protecting hand Still guard our shore! May peace her power extend, Foe be transformed to friend, And Britain's rights depend On war no more."The full text is in the 1880 Supplement to the Baptist Psalms & Hymns; the Methodist Free Church Hymns, 1889; the Congregational Church Hymnal, 1887, and other collections. ii. In the Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book, 1879, No. 569, is an anonymous hymn which begins:—
"God bless our native land: Her strength and glorv stand Ever in Thee."St. ii. is "God smile upon our land," and St. iii. "Through every changing scene." iii. In the Congregational Church Hymnal, 1887, No. 654 opens with the same stanza as No. ii., but st. ii. is "God guard our sea-girt land," and st. iii. "God smile upon our land." This is in Christian Hymns, 1845. The texts in these two hymn-books suggest a common original of four or more stanzas, but this original, if it exists, we have not seen. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)