Scripture Verse

I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. Isaiah 1:25


John G. Whittier (1807–1892)

Words: John G. Whit­ti­er, 1890.

Music: Ol­iv­ar­i­us Pe­ter C. Lut­kin, 1905 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Peter C. Lutkin (1858–1931)

To this town of hal­lowed me­mo­ries [Con­cord, Mas­sa­chu­setts], just two years be­fore his death, the Quak­er poet, John G. Whit­ti­er, was in­vit­ed by Da­ni­el Lo­throp, the pub­lish­er, and his wife. The oc­ca­sion was a re­cep­tion to be gi­ven in hon­or of the wife of Ge­ne­ral John A. Lo­gan, who had dis­ting­uished him­self in the Ci­vil War and lat­er in ci­vic life.

At that time, how­ev­er, Whit­ti­er, who was eigh­ty-three years old and suf­fer­ing from the in­fir­mi­ties of ad­vanced age, could on­ly send this note of re­gret:

I can­not be with you on the 14th, ow­ing to the state of my health; but I send you some lines [this hymn] which I hope may not seem in­ap­pro­pri­ate. I am ve­ry tru­ly thy friend, John G. Whit­ti­er.

Price, p. 32


Our thought of thee is glad with hope,
Dear coun­try of our love and pray­er;
Thy way is down no fa­tal slope,
But up to freer sun and air.

Tried as by fur­nace fires, and yet
By God’s grace on­ly strong­er made;
In fu­ture tasks be­fore thee set
Thou shalt not lack the old-time aid.

Great, with­out seek­ing to be great
By fraud or con­quest; rich in gold
But rich­er in the large es­tate
Of vir­tue which thy child­ren hold.

With peace that comes of pu­r­ity,
And strength to sim­ple jus­tice due,
So runs our loy­al dream of thee.
God of our f­athers! make it true.

O land of lands! to thee we give
Our love, our trust, our ser­vice free;
For thee thy sons shall no­bly live,
And at thy need shall die for thee.