Hymn Study: For The Beauty of the Earth

Hebrews 13:15-16 – “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” 


 Written by Folliot S. Pierpoint, this is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving and was originally written as a song for the Eucharist (The Lord's Supper).

Pierpoint was the author of several poetry collections, including The Chalice of Nature and Other Poems (1855), Songs of Love, the Chalice of Nature, and Lyra Jesu (2nd Edition, 1858). The words of this hymn appeared in Lyrica Eucharistica, The Hymnal Noted (second edition, 1864).  (source)

Pierpoint was born in Bath, England in 1835.  He was educated at Queens College in Cambridge, and later taught at Somersetshire College, where he was a teacher of classics.


He wrote numerous poems, but For the Beauty of the Earth is the only one he is remembered for today. Not only did he write books of poetry, but also produced two hymnals.   He was 29 years old when he wrote this particular hymn.

 The song was inspired by the beauty of the countryside that surrounded him.  Pierpoint wrote praises of God for the beauties all around him into the lyrics.  Take for instance beauty of the earth and sky, beauty of each hour, and the joy of human love that he incorporates into the lyrics. (source)

The words to the original text can be found here.   The tune Dix was written by Conrad Kocher in 1838, also the tune used for As with Gladness Men of Old. 

Pierpoint died at age 82 having written 7 volumes of poetry. 

 Originally the last two lines of each verse read: 
Christ our God, to thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.



Lyrics

(1) 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.

(2) For the wonder 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 hymn of grateful praise.

 (3) For the joy of ear and eye, 
For the heart and mind's delight; 
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise. 

 (4) For the joy of human love, 
Brother, sister, parent, child; 
Friends on Earth and friends above, 
 For all gentle things and mild
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise.
(5) For Thy Church that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above
Offering up on on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise.


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