The ocean looketh up to heaven

Representative Text

1 The ocean looketh up to heaven
As 't were a living thing;
The homage of its waves is given
In ceaseless worshiping.

2 They kneel upon the sloping sand
As bends the human knee:
A beautiful and tireless band--
The priesthood of the sea.

3 The mists are lifted from the rills,
Like the white wing of prayer;
They kneel above the ancient hills,
As doing homage there.

4 The forest-tops are lowly cast
O'er breezy hill and glen,
As if a prayerful spirit passed
On nature as on men.

5 The sky is as a temple's arch;
The blue and wavy air
Is glorious with the spirit-march
Of messengers at prayer.

Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #330

Author: John Greenleaf Whittier

Whittier, John Greenleaf, the American Quaker poet, was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, Dec. 17, 1807. He began life as a farm-boy and shoemaker, and subsequently became a successful journalist, editor and poet. In 1828 he became editor of the American Manufacturer (Boston), in 1830 of the New England Review, and an 1836 (on becoming Secretary to the American Anti-Slavery Society) of the Pennsylvania Freeman. He was also for some time, beginning with 1847, the corresponding editor of the National Era. In 1840 he removed to Amesbury, Massachusetts, where most of his later works have been written. At the present time [1890] he lives alternately at Amesbury and Boston. His first poetical piece was printed in the Newburyport Free Press in 182… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The ocean looketh up to heaven
Author: John Greenleaf Whittier
Copyright: Public Domain



Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft (PHH 149), possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Suppleme…

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Instances (1 - 14 of 14)

A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion (15th ed.) #85

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A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion. (10th ed.) #85

Grammar School Hymn Book #d252

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Hymn Book for Christian Worship #680

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Hymn Book for Christian Worship. 8th ed. #a680

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Hymn, Tune, and Service Book for Sunday Schools #53

Hymns for Children and Young Persons #d401

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Hymns of the Spirit #321

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Isles of Shoals Hymn Book and Candle Light Service #66

Songs of the Unity #d194

The Gospel Hymnal #d593

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The Psalms of Life #147

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The School Hymn-Book #144

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The Voice of Praise #330

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