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The land our fathers left to us

The land our fathers left to us

Author: Thomas W. Higginson
Published in 6 hymnals

Full Text

The land our fathers left to us
Is foul with hateful sin;
When shall, O Lord, this sorrow end,
And hope and joy begin?

What good, though growing might and wealth
Shall stretch from shore to shore,
If thus the fatal poison-taint
Be only spread the more?

Wipe out, O God, the nation’s sin,
Then swell the nation’s power;
But build not high our yearning hopes,
To wither in an hour!

No outward show nor fancied strength
From Thy stern justice saves;
There is no liberty for them
Who make their brethren slaves!

Source: A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion (15th ed.) #436

Author: Thomas W. Higginson

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, M.A., was born at Cambridge, U.S.A., Dec. 22, 1823, and educated at Harvard. From 1847 to 1850 he was Pastor of an Unitarian Church at Newburyport, and from 1852 to 1858 at Worcester. In 1858 he retired from the Ministry, and devoted himself to literature. During the Rebellion he was colonel of the first negro regiment raised in South Carolina. In addition to being for some time a leading contributor to the Atlantic Monthly, he published Outdoor Papers, 1863; Malbone, 1869; and other works. During his residence at the Harvard Divinity School he contributed the following hymns to Longfellow and Johnson's Book of Hymns, 1846:— 1. No human eyes Thy face may see. God known through love. 2. The land our fathe… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The land our fathers left to us
Author: Thomas W. Higginson


The land our fathers left to us, pp. 521, ii., and 604, ii., together with its companion hymn, "The past is dark with sin and shame," are given in the first instance as by T. W. Higginson; and in the second instance as by S. Johnson. On Putnam's authority, in his Singers and Songs of the Liberal Faith, 1875, these hymns are by Higginson, and not by Johnson.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



Instances (1 - 6 of 6)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion (15th ed.) #436Text
A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion. (10th ed.) #436Page Scan
Hymns for Schools and Families #d141
Hymns for Schools and Families #101Page Scan
Singers and Songs of the Liberal Faith #508Page Scan
Songs of the League #44Page Scan