1629. From Greenland's Icy Mountains

1. From Greenland’s icy mountains,
from India’s coral strand;
Where Afric’s sunny fountains
roll down their golden sand:
From many an ancient river,
from many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver
their land from error’s chain.

2. What though the spicy breezes
blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
and only man is vile?
In vain with lavish kindness
the gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness
bows down to wood and stone.

3. Shall we, whose souls are lighted
with wisdom from on high,
Shall we to those benighted
the lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O salvation!
The joyful sound proclaim,
Till earth’s remotest nation
has learned Messiah’s name.

4. Waft, waft, ye winds, His story,
and you, ye waters, roll
Till, like a sea of glory,
it spreads from pole to pole:
Till o’er our ransomed nature
the Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, king, creator,
in bliss returns to reign.

Text Information
First Line: From Greenland's icy mountains
Title: From Greenland's Icy Mountains
Author: Reginald Heber (1819)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Notes: This was Mason's first published hymn tune. One Mary Howard, of Savannah, Georgia, had come across these lyrics, but she had no music for them. So she sent them to Mason, who was working as a bank clerk and singing teacher in Savannah. Mason wrote Missionary Hymn in half an hour. Alternate tunes: AURELIA, Samuel S. Wesley, 1864; CALCUTTA, melody by Reginald Heber, 1783-1826; GREENLAND (CLARK), Thomas Clark, Congregational Harmonist, 1828; LANCASHIRE, Henry T. Smart, 1835; WEBB, George J. Webb, 1830
Tune Information
Composer: Lowell Mason (1823)
Incipit: 13556 53171 43321
Key: E♭ Major
Copyright: Public Domain

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