When o'er the billow heaving deep

Representative Text

1 When o’er the billow-heaving deep,
The fathers of our race,
The precepts of their God to keep,
Sought here their resting-place—
That gracious God their path prepared,
Preserved from every harm,
And still for their protection bared
His everlasting arm.

2 His breath, inspiring every gale,
Impels them o’er the main;
His guardian angels spread the sail,
And tempests howl in vain.
For them old ocean’s rocks are smoothed;
December’s face grows mild;
To vernal airs her blasts are soothed,
And all their rage beguiled.

3 When Famine rolls her haggard eyes,
His ever-bounteous hand
Abundance from the sea supplies,
And treasures from the sand.
Nor yet His tender mercies cease;
His overruling plan
Inclines to gentleness and peace
The heart of savage man.

4 And can our stony bosoms be
To all these wonders blind?
Nor swell with thankfulness to Thee,
O Parent of mankind?
All-gracious God, inflame our zeal;
Dispense one blessing more;
Grant us Thy boundless love to feel,
Thy goodness to adore.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #12411

Author: John Quincy Adams

Adams, John Quincy. (Braintree, Mass., July 11, 1767-February 21, 1848, Washington, D.C.). Most of Adams' verse, both religious and secular, was written after he had left the Presidency. In his later years he composed a metrical version of the Psalms, best described as a free rendering in fairly good verse of what he felt was the essential idea of each Psalm. When his minister, William P. Lunt, of the First Parish, (Unitarian), Quincy, Mass., undertook the preparation of his hymn book The Christian Psalter, Mrs. Adams put the manuscript of her husband's metrical Psalms into Lunt's hands, and the latter included 17 of them in his book, and five other hymns by his distinguished parishioner. The effect on Adams is recorded in a moving entr… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When o'er the billow heaving deep
Author: John Quincy Adams
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

KINGSFOLD

Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland. The tune was published in English Country Songs [sic: English County Songs] (1893), an anthology compiled by Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland. After having…

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Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #12411
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  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

Instances

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The Cyber Hymnal #12411

Include 2 pre-1979 instances
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