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Posts Tagged ‘Oliver Wendell Holmes’

ON THIS DATE

(was traveling, did not get posted yesterday)

Samuel Francis Smith was born 10/21/1808 at Boston, MA. He edited Bap­tist Mis­sion­ary Mag­a­zine, con­trib­ut­ed to the En­cy­clo­pe­dia Amer­i­cana, pas­tored & was Pro­fess­or of Mod­ern Lan­guag­es but the sec­u­lar world re­mem­bers Smith as the au­thor of My Count­ry ’Tis of Thee (written at age 23).  He and Oliver Wendell Holmes were class­mates at Har­vard, and for the 1829 class re­un­ion, Holmes wrote:       

There’s a nice youngster of excellent pith,

Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith;

But he shouted a song for the brave and the free,

Just read on his medal, “My country,” “of thee.”

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My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!

Ray Palmer was born this date, 11/12/1808, at Little Compton, Rhode Island.

He at­tend­ed Phil­lips An­do­ver Acad­e­my (had Oliver Wendell Holmes for a school ­mate there) and attended Yale Un­i­ver­si­ty.  Palmer first taught (New York and Con­nec­ti­cut and later was or­dained a Con­gre­ga­tion­al min­is­ter.  He pas­tored in Maine and New York.  He eventually served as Sec­re­ta­ry of the Con­gre­ga­tion­al Un­ion. 

Low­ell Ma­son (wrote the music for this) is said to have predicted “You may live ma­ny years and do ma­ny good things, but I think you will be best known to pos­ter­i­ty as the au­thor of “My Faith Looks Up to Thee.”  How right Mason was. Palm­er re­tired in 1878 and died 3/29/1887 at New­ark, New Jer­sey.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote about Smith (1829 – Harvard class reunion)

There’s a nice youngster of excellent pith,                                             

Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith;

But he shouted a song for the brave and the free,

Just read on his medal, “My country,” “of thee.”

                                   

Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote about Smith (1888 – Smith’s 80th birthday)

 

Full ma­ny a po­et’s labored lines

A century’s creeping waves shall hide—
The verse a people’s love enshrines
Stands like a rock that breasts the tide.
Time wrecks the proudest piles we raise,
The towers, the domes, the temples fall.
The fortress crumbles and decays—
One breath of song outlasts them all.

Samuel Francis Smith was born this date, 10/21/1808, Boston, MA.  He, of course, authored “My Count­ry ’Tis of Thee” (when just age 23) and “The Morning Light Is Breaking.”  He served as a pastor, a professor, and a publisher (contributed to the En­cy­clo­pe­dia Amer­i­cana).  He and Holmes were classmates.

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