The pilgrim fathers

The breaking waves dashed high

Author: Felicia D. B. Hemans
Tune: PLYMOUTH (Browne)
Published in 79 hymnals

Full Text

The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches tossed,
And the heavy night hung dark,
The hills and waters o’er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark
On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted, came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame.
Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;
They shook the depths of the desert’s gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang;
And the stars heard, and the sea!
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free.
The ocean eagle soared
From his nest by the white wave’s foam,
And the rocking pines of the forest roared,—
This was their welcome home!

What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?
They sought a faith’s pure shrine!
Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod!
They have left unstained, what there they found:
Freedom to worship God.

Source: A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion (15th ed.) #478

Author: Felicia D. B. Hemans

Hemans, Felicia Dorothea, née Browne, was born in Liverpool, Sep. 25, 1793. In 1800, her father having suffered severe losses in business, removed with his family near to Abergele, N. Wales, where he died sometime after. In 1812 she was married to Captain Hemans, who, on retiring from the army sometime after, removed to Bronnylfa, near St. Asaph. Some years after he left his wife and children and proceeded to Italy, where he died. In 1828 Mrs. Hemans removed to Wavertree, near Liverpool, and in 1831 to Dublin, where she died May 16, 1835, and was buried in St. Ann's Church, Dawson Street, in that city. From 1808, when at 15 she published Poems, to 1834, when her Scenes & Hymns of Life appeared, she produced a great number of poems and othe… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The breaking waves dashed high
Title: The pilgrim fathers
Author: Felicia D. B. Hemans




Joseph Parry (PHH 18) composed DINBYCH and named it after the city of Dinbych in northern Wales. The tune first appeared in Llyfr Tonau Cynulleidfaol Cenedlaethol Cymru (The Welsh National Book of Congregational Tunes) which was edited by Parry and published in several parts from 1887 to 1892. DINBY…

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Instances (1 - 79 of 79)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
A Book of Hymns and Tunes: for the Sunday-School, the Congregation and Home: 2nd ed. #162Page Scan
A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion (15th ed.) #478Text
A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion. (10th ed.) #478Page Scan
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Carmina Sanctorum: a selection of hymns and songs of praise with tunes #746Page Scan
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Heart and Voice #d245
Heart and Voice #d247
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School and College Hymnal #d145
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Sunday School Hymn Book #d398
The American Hymnal #d550
The American Hymnal for Chapel Service #d345
The American Hymnal for Chapel Service #d344
The Assembly Hymn and Song Collection: designed for use in chapel, assembly, convocation, or general exercises of schools, normals, colleges and universities. (3rd ed.) #133Page Scan
The Baptist Hymn and Tune Book: being "The Plymouth Collection" enlarged and adapted to the use of Baptist churches #1007Page Scan
The Beacon Song and Service book #121
The Casket of Sunday School Melodies, Complete. Compiled from Caskets Nos.1 and 2 with Several Additional Pieces #d150
The Century Hymnal #327Page Scan
The Church Hymn Book #d513
The Council Hymnal, a Selection of Hymns and Tunes Chosen from the Pilgrim Hymnal for use of the National Council of Congregational Churches #d94
The Disciples' Hymn Book: a collection of hymns and chants for public and private devotion #169Page Scan
The Golden Rule #d86
The Gospel Hymnal #d568
The Hymnal #d438
The Middlesex Hymn Book #d79
The Modern Harp: or, Boston Sacred Melodist. #d243
The Morning Hour: a daily song-service with responsive selections for schools #104Page Scan
The National Psalmist #d176
The New Hymn and Tune Book #d408
The People's Praise Book or Carmina Sanctorum #d575
The Pilgrim Hymnal #422Page Scan
The Psalms of Life: A Compilation of Psalms, Hymns, Chants, Anthems, &c. Embodying the Spiritual, Progressive and Reformatory Sentiment of the Present Age #366Page Scan
The Sacred Melodeon #d90
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The Saints' Hymnal #d268
The Saints' Hymnal #d349
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The School Hymn-Book: for normal, high, and grammar schools #283Page Scan
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The Voice of melody: a choice collection of hymn tunes for choirs, prayer-meetings, congregations, and family use #75Page Scan
Young Singer's Friend: or, the Lee Avenue collection of hymns and songs, sacred and secular, suitable for Sabbath schools, social circles, children's meetings, concerts, anniversaries, etc. #s18Page Scan