It may not be our lot to wield

It may not be our lot to wield

Author: John Greenleaf Whittier
Published in 34 hymnals

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Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1. It may not be our lot to wield
The sickle in the ripened field;
Nor ours to hear, on summer eves,
The reaper’s song among the sheaves.

2. Yet where our duty’s task is wrought
In unison with God’s great thought,
The near and future blend in one,
And whatsoe’er is willed, is done.

3. And ours the grateful service whence
Comes, day by day, the recompense;
The hope, the trust, the purpose stayed,
The fountain, and the noonday shade.

4. And were this lift the utmost span,
The only end and aim of man,
Better the toil of fields like these
Than waking dream and slotfhful ease.

5. But life, though falling like our grain,
Like that revives and springs again;
And, early called, how blest are they
Who wait in heaven, their harvest day!

The opening of Whittier’s original poem:

1. As o’er his furrowed fields which lie
Beneath a coldly-dropping sky,
Yet chill with winter’s melted snow,
The husbandman goes forth to sow.

2. Thus, Freedom, on the bitter blast
The ventures of thy seed we cast,
And trust to warmer sun and rain,
To swell the germs and fill the grain.

3. Who calls thy glorious service hard?
Who deems it not its own reward?
Who, for its trials, counts it less
A cause of praise and thankfulness?

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #3111

Author: John Greenleaf Whittier

Whittier, John Greenleaf, the American Quaker poet, was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, Dec. 17, 1807. He began life as a farm-boy and shoemaker, and subsequently became a successful journalist, editor and poet. In 1828 he became editor of the American Manufacturer (Boston), in 1830 of the New England Review, and an 1836 (on becoming Secretary to the American Anti-Slavery Society) of the Pennsylvania Freeman. He was also for some time, beginning with 1847, the corresponding editor of the National Era. In 1840 he removed to Amesbury, Massachusetts, where most of his later works have been written. At the present time [1890] he lives alternately at Amesbury and Boston. His first poetical piece was printed in the Newburyport Free Press in 182… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: It may not be our lot to wield
Author: John Greenleaf Whittier



Edward Miller (b. Norwich, England, 1735; d. Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, 1807) adapted ROCKINGHAM from an earlier tune, TUNEBRIDGE, which had been published in Aaron Williams's A Second Supplement to Psalmody in Miniature (c. 1780). ROCKINGHAM has long associations in Great Britain and North Amer…

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ERNAN (Mason)



The Cyber Hymnal #3111
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