Another thing I'm thankful for is the joy of music. Few things moves me so, or make me so happy--especially sacred music. Another of my favorite hymns, and one widely heard and sung around Thanksgiving time, is For the Beauty of the Earth, written in 1864 by English hymnist and poet Folliott S. Pierpoint (1835-1917). It is related that Pierpoint was taking a walk one late spring day, in the lovely area surrounding his home in Bath, England. Overwhelmed with the beauty he saw, he sat down and wrote For the Beauty of the Earth. In this lovely hymn Pierpoint thanks God not only for His beautiful creation, but also for family, friends and other gifts God has bestowed upon us. The hymn was sung in the 1994 movie version of Little Women.
Here is a lovely video and choral rendition of this sweet hymn. The video scenes are of places and people in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; I love it because it celebrates not only the beauty of nature, but also "the joy of human love,/Brother, sister, parent, child"--my favorite lines from the hymn! The full text of the hymn, which includes several stanzas in addition to those sung in the video, is set forth below.
For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful 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.
For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.
For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.
For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy.
For Thy virgins’ robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled.
For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!