Home  »  Volume XVIII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART III  »  § 12. One Sweetly Solemn Thought

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXVI. Patriotic Songs and Hymns

§ 12. One Sweetly Solemn Thought

The theme of My Faith Looks up to Thee is the theme of Phœbe Cary’s One Sweetly Solemn Thought (1852), which deserves far less congregational attention than it receives, as Mrs. Stowe’s beautiful Still, Still with Thee, When Purple Morning Breaketh (1855) deserves far more. Mrs. Stowe shook off the spell of the mortuary muse so that, though mindful of death, she was first concerned with a living faith. This faith is the burden, too, of Whittier’s Our Master (1866), a devotional poem from which several hymns have been excerpted, the best known of which is the passage beginning

  • We may not climb the heavenly steeps,
  • To bring the Lord Christ down.