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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

§ 9. I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord

Three hymns of Timothy Dwight, Ray Palmer, and Oliver Wendell Holmes are broadly representative of tendencies up to 1860. Dwight’s contribution, I Love Thy Kingdom Lord, belongs to the period of Hail Columbia (which is sometimes wrongly ascribed to him), and is involved in the theology of Jonathan Edwards, Dwight’s grandfather. After the confusion of the second stanza,

  • Her walls before Thee stand,
  • Dear as the apple of Thine eye,
  • And graven on Thy hand,
  • and after the Calvinistic prospect of death in the third, it rises to a tone of solemn and hopeful self-dedication; and, set to the eighteenth-century tune “St. Thomas,” it becomes an austere but not unlovely choral.