For the Beauty of the Earth

Words:7.7.7.7.7.7 • Folliott S. Pierpoint (1864) with historical influences, st. 6 A. Cooper (2019)
Music:DIX • Conrad Kocher (1838), arr. William H. Monk (1861) with historical influences

Words

1.

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

2.

For the beauty of each hour,
  Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r,
  Sun and moon and stars of light:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
  This our sacrifice of praise.

3.

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

4.

For each perfect gift of Thine
  To our race so freely giv’n,
Graces human and divine,
  Flow’rs of earth, and buds of heav’n:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
  This our sacrifice of praise.

5.

For Thy church that evermore
  Lifteth holy hands above,
Off’ring up on every shore
  Her pure sacrifice of love:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
  This our sacrifice of praise.

6.

For Thyself, best gift of all!
  For Thy resurrection might,
For Thy heav’nly kingdom’s call;
  Our own share in Thy great light:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
  This our sacrifice of praise.

Compared to Hymnals

  No. Words Music
Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs 86 Lacks vss 4, 6;
Vs 1 has “glory of the skies”;
Refrain ends “This our hymn of grateful praise”
Swaps alto and tenor notes in first beat of measure 6
Songs of Faith and Praise 67 Lacks vss 3, 4, 6 Key of A instead of A♭
Praise for the Lord 157 Lacks vss 4, 6 Key of A instead of A♭
Hymns for Worship (Revised) 24 Lacks vss 2, 4, 6;
Vs 1 has “glory of the skies”;
Refrain ends “This our hymn of grateful praise”
Swaps alto and tenor notes in first beat of measure 6
Songs of the Church 296 Lacks vss 4, 6 Key of A instead of A♭
Sacred Selections n/a
Christian Hymns No. 2 434 Lacks vss 2, 4, 6;
Vs 1 has “glory of the skies”;
Refrain ends “This our hymn of grateful praise”
Swaps alto and tenor notes in first beat of measure 6
Great Songs of the Church No. 2 377 Lacks vss 4, 6 Key of A instead of A♭

This popular hymn is present in many hymnals, yet it is rare to find two modern hymnals with exactly the same wording or stanza selection. Originally a poem of 8 stanzas, hymnals typically include only a subset of these, and the exact stanza selection differs from hymnal to hymnal. Additionally, a variety of small, popular alterations to the original wording were made from a very early time. As such, the exact wording often differs from one hymnal to another.

We’ve tried to include more stanzas than less, and we’ve tried to retain the original wording without ignoring this hymn’s historical use.

The most notable choices we’ve made are:

  • In the final words of the refrain, some hymnals end “This our hymn of grateful praise” while others retain the original wording “This our sacrifice of praise.” Both phrases are excellent, but we’ve opted to retain the original wording “This our sacrifice of praise” to maintain the connection with Hebrews 13:15.
  • The original actually ended “Christ our God to Thee we raise,” which we like very much. However, it is rare to find this wording in the historical use of this hymn. So we’ve chosen to retain the traditional wording, “Lord of all.”
  • We have included 5 of the original stanzas and added an original final stanza.
  • In the first two original stanzas, the author wrote “beauty of the earth,” “beauty of the skies,” and “beauty of each hour.” The repetition of the word “beauty” has often been altered. Many hymnals have “glory of the skies,” and some have “wonder of each hour.” While there is something nice about the progression “beauty,” “glory,” “wonder,” many hymnals have either “beauty,” “beauty,” “beauty” (original) or “beauty,” “glory,” “beauty.” Since the original threefold repetition of “beauty” is not uncommon, we’ve chosen to retain it.

Sources

Words

Music

References

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Through [Jesus] let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.
— Hebrews 13:15