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Anniversary Hymn

Our fathers, in the years grown dim

Author: Katharine Lee Bates (1908)
Published in 1 hymnal

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. Our fathers, in the years grown dim,
reared slowly, wall by wall
A holy dwelling place for Him,
that filleth all in all.
They wrought His house of faith and prayer,
the rainbow round the throne,
A precious temple builded fair
on Christ the Cornerstone.

2. The angel of the golden reed
hath found the measure strait;
He hears the Great Foundation
plead for ampler wall and gate.
The living pillars of the Truth
grown on from morn to morn,
And still the heresy of youth
is age’s creed outworn.

3. But steadfast is their inner shrine
wrought of the heart’s fine gold,
Its hunger and its thirst divine,
with jewels manifold,
Red sard of pain, hope’s emerald gleam,
white peace, no glory missed
Of righteous life and saintly dream,
jasper to amethyst.

4. Spirit of truth, forbid that we
who now God’s temple are
And keep the faith with minds more free,
our father’s fabric mar.
Better than thoughts the stars that search
is self still sacrificed,
For only love can build the church
whose cornerstone is Christ.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #191

Author: Katharine Lee Bates

Katharine Lee Bates was born in Falmouth, Mass., August 12, 1859. Her father was a pastor in the Congregational Church; he died when she was an infant. Her mother moved the family to Wellesley. She received a B.A. (1880) and M.A. (1891) from Wellesley College. She taught high school from 1880-1885 and then was a professor of English literature at Wellesley. She wrote poetry, children's stories, textbooks and travel books. In the summer if 1893 when she was lecturing at Colorado College she went to the top of Pike's Peak. Inspired by the beauty of the view she wrote all four verses of "America the Beautiful" which was an instant hit when it was published. She had an intimate relationship with Katharine Coman, dean of Wellesley, who she live… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Our fathers, in the years grown dim
Title: Anniversary Hymn
Author: Katharine Lee Bates (1908)
Meter: D
Language: English
Notes: Bates wrote this hymn to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her childhood church in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Copyright: Public Domain



Henry Stephen Cutler (b. Boston, MA, 1824; d. Boston, 1902) composed ALL SAINTS NEW in 1872 for Reginald Heber's (PHH 249) text "The Son of God Goes Forth to War," and the two were published together in Hymnal with Tunes, Old and New (1872). That text refers to "the glorious band" of God's people, h…

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The Cyber Hymnal #191
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The Cyber Hymnal #191

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