For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty
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For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Father, unto Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Father, unto Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight,
Father, unto Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

For the joy of human love:
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Father, unto Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

For each perfect gift of Thine
To our race so freely given:
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven,
Father, unto Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, an Englishman, enjoyed strolling along the banks of the winding Avon River. One spring day he was moved by God’s works of creative beauty: the green and flowery landscape, overhung by the blue skies. This was Pierpoint’s inspiration for this hymn, written in 1864. He intended it mainly for use in Anglican communion services, but when the hymn was brought to America, it was more often sung at Thanksgiving. The last line of each verse is often now sung as: “This, our hymn of grateful praise,” or “This, our joyful hymn of praise.”

Little is known about the author’s life. He taught for a time at Somersetshire College, but moved from place to place, teaching, writing hymns and having his poetry published. He died in 1917.

Ralph Waldo Emerson pointed out that if the constellations appeared in the sky only once in a thousand years, we would consider it an amazing event! Since they appear nightly, we take them for granted and may hardly look at them. Let’s look at our surroundings and our circumstances this Thanksgiving, and sing from our hearts a “hymn of grateful praise”!

WORDS: FOLLIOTT S. PIERPOINT MUSIC: CONRAD KOCHER
S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #14; 1987 EDITION, #28
REFERENCE: MORGAN, ROBERT J., THEN SINGS MY SOUL
Happy Thanksgiving

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