One Sweetly Solemn Thought

One sweetly solemn thought (Cary)

Author: Phoebe Cary (1852)
Published in 690 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 One sweetly solemn thought
Comes to me o’er and o’er;
Nearer to my home today am I
Than e’er I’ve been before.

2 Nearer my Father’s house,
Where many mansions be;
Nearer, today, the great white throne,
Nearer the crystal sea.

3 Nearer the bound of life,
Where burdens are laid down;
Nearer to leave the heavy cross,
Nearer to gain the crown.

4 Father, perfect my trust!
Strengthen my power of faith!
Nor let me stand, at last, alone
Upon the shore of death.


Source: The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal: official hymnal of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church #558

Author: Phoebe Cary

Phoebe Cary, (1824-1871) was born and raised in Mount Healthy in Hamilton County, Ohio. Her family came from Lyme, New Hampshire to Ohio when her grandfather was given land in return for his service in the Continental Army. She was the younger sister of Alice Cary (1820-1871). She and Alice submitted poetry to religious periodicals. Phoebe remained in Ohio and continued to write many hymns, including, "One sweetly solemn thought." Mary Louise VanDyke… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: One sweetly solemn thought (Cary)
Title: One Sweetly Solemn Thought
Author: Phoebe Cary (1852)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


One sweetly solemn thought. Anticipation of Heaven. This piece was not intended for public use, nor is it a suitable metre for musical treatment, yet it has won universal acceptance and popularity. In some instances this has been attained by change of metre as in the Supplement to the Baptist Psalms & Hymns 1880, No. 1185. Johnson's Encyclopedia is in error in saying it was "written at the age of 17." The Congregational Quarterly for Oct., 1874, says, "it was written, she tells us, in the little back third story bedroom, one Sabbath morning in 1852, on her return from church." This statement shows that it was composed when she was 28, and not 17. The popularity of the hymn in Great Britain arose mainly through its use in the Evangelistic services of Messrs. Moody and Sankey. In the Protestant Episcopal Hymns for Church and Home, Phila., 1860, No. 383, it is given as "A sweetly solemn thought." [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 7 of 7)

Ambassador Hymnal #614

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #310

Praise for the Lord (Expanded Edition) #506

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The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal #558

The Baptist Hymnal #636


The Cyber Hymnal #5235


Timeless Truths #573

Include 683 pre-1979 instances
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