by Martin Pulido
A Hymn. In honor of Orson F. Whitney, I have extracted (and reworked to some extent) lyrics from his poem “What is Life?” and created a four verse hymn. The words are set to the melody of the traditional Irish folk song, “The Mourlough Shore.” The four-part harmony written for the song is my own. This hymn is part of a mini-hymnal that will include 20 hymns mentioning, addressing, and portraying Heavenly Mother. A print copy of the mini-hymnal will be sent to all those who donate at least $20 to the contest, so if you haven’t done so yet, please do so now. PDFs of these hymns will also be posted online up until May 11, 2014.
The Lyrics for the hymn are as follows:
1. There are, who deem life’s ling’ring durance
Designed for freedom and delight,
Its clanking fetters claim as music,
Its darkness workship as ’twere light.
Nor mindful still of loftier purpose,
Vain pleasure’s winged flight pursue,
Their dream: “Today; there comes no morrow,”
That tinkling lie with sound so true.
2. Was such the charm whose soft alluring
Drew spirits bright from heav’nly bliss?
Did morning stars hymn loud hosannas
O’er false and fatal theme like this?
Speak thou, my soul, that once did mingle
Where souls were never doomed to die;
where Father, Mother, friends, did love thee
And bid thee seize the prize of life.
3. Be this their bourn that seek no brighter,
Whom naught save worldly pleasures please;
Graves are the goal of earthly glory,
But man was meant for none of these.
Call earth thy home, clasp thou its shadows,
Till here thy little day be done.
My home is where the starry kingdoms
Roll round the Kingdom of the Sun.
4. I came not forth in quest of freedom
To shrink from peril or from pain;
To learn from death life’s deepest lessons,
I sank to rise, God’s wisdom gain.
Souls to whom life unfolds its meaning,
Ne’er hope full happiness on earth,
But patient bide that brighter morrow,
which brings again celestial birth.