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Hymns: Spaces and Places

Hymn 36 Hymns for Living
Star Born


Ye earthborn children of a star
Amid the depths of space,
The cosmic wonder from afar
Within your minds embrace.

Look out, with awe, upon the art
Of countless living things;
The counterpoint of part with part,
As nature's chorus sings.

Beyond the wonder you have wrought
Within your little time;
The knowledge won, the wisdom sought,
The ornaments of rhyme;

Seek deeper still within your souls
And sense the wonder there;
The ceaseless thrust to noble goals
Of life, more free and fair.

Ye earthborn children of a star
Who seek and long and strive,
Take humble pride in what you are:
Be glad to be alive!

John G. MacKinnon


Hymn 119 Hymns for Living
O'er Continent and Ocean

Hymnau a Thónau (1865) of Daniel Evans

O'er continent and ocean,
From city, field and wood,
Still speak, 0 Lord, thy messengers
Of peace and brotherhood.
In Athens and Benares,
In Rome and Galilee,
They fronted kings and conquerors,
And taught mankind of thee.

We hear, O Lord, these voices,
And hail them as thine own,
They speak as speak the winds and tides
On planets far and lone:
One God, the Life of Ages,
One rule, his will above,
One realm, our wide humanity,
One law, the law of love.

The tribes and nations falter
In rivalries of fear;
The fires of hate to ashes turn,
To dust the sword and spear.
Thy word alone remaineth-
That word we speak again,
O'er sea and shore and continent,
To all the sons of men.

John Haynes Holmes, 1879-1964


Hymn 209 Hymns for Living
A World Transfigured

William Penfro Rowlands, 1860-1937

Wonders still the world shall witness
Never known in days of old,
Never dreamed by ancient sages,
Howsoever free and bold.
Sons and daughters shall inherit
Wondrous arts to us unknown,
When the dawn of peace its splendour
Over all the world has thrown.

They shall rule with winged freedom
Worlds of health and human good,
Worlds of commerce, worlds of science,
All made one and understood.
They shall know a world transfigured,
Which our eyes but dimly see;
They shall make its towns and woodlands
Beautiful from sea to sea.

For a spirit then shall move them
We but vaguely apprehend—
Aims magnificent and holy,
Making joy and labour friend.
Then shall bloom in song and fragrance
Harmony of thought and deed,
Fruits of peace and love and justice -
Where today we plant the seed.

Jacob Trapp


Hymn 213 Hymns for Living
A City which is Ours


We need a city which is ours,
A place where we are free-
Not slaves within the place we've made-
A place where truth can be:

Truth in the plans our leaders make.
And in their motives too;
Truth in our commerce and our arts -
In all that people do.

Value for all the ground we take
And cover with our schemes,
As much of beauty and of health
As in the hills and streams.

Clear air, clean lives, clean government:
A city which is ours,
Where all who live can live in love
And know its finest hours.

Bruce Findlow