Scripture Verse

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27


John Q. Adams

Words: John Q. Ad­ams (1767–1848). Ap­peared in Po­ems of Re­li­gion and So­ci­e­ty by John Quin­cy Ad­ams, by John Da­vis & T. H. Ben­ton (New York: Will­iam H. Gra­ham, 1848), pag­es 62–63.

Music: Kings­fold Eng­lish tune, ar­ranged by Ralph Vaugh­an Will­iams, 1906 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Ralph Vaughan Williams


In 1620, Eng­lish peo­ple called Pil­grims went to Am­er­i­ca, seek­ing re­li­gious free­dom. They re­port­ed­ly ar­rived at Plymouth, Mas­sa­chu­setts, on the ship May­flow­er, De­cem­ber 22, 1620.

Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth


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.

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.

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.

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.