Monday, August 26, 2013

Centennial Hymn - Bethel, Maine

Celebrating the first 100 years of my hometown:
From Report on the Centennial Celebration at Bethel, August 26, 1874
Composed for the occasion by Geo. B. Farnsworth, Esq., to the tune of Old Hundred

Centennial Hymn
As, - when to Jacob it was given
To see, mid Eastern deserts lone, 
A ladder reaching up to Heaven
Along whose steps the angels shone, - 

He knew the Lord was, surely, there, 
And what had seemed but wilderness
Now God's own dwelling did appear, 
And "Beth-el," thence, he named the place:

So, when our fathers, eastward led, 
Chanced to this lovely vale to roam, 
Seeing its emerald floor outspread
And spanned by yonder crystal dome, 

Into whose depths the mountains soared
Like heavenly ladders angel-trod, 
They said, "Here, surely, dwells the Lord!"
And named their home the "House of God."

And here, from youth to age, they strove

Their goodly heritage to keep
For Freedom, Knowledge, Virtue, Love - 
Now in the dust all, silent sleep!

May we, their children, aye defend
The heritage they loved so well;
This heir-loom from the Past descend
To children's children, nobler still;

A place for homliest labors meet; 
Ever of manly worth the abode; 
And aye a place of worship sweet, - 
A temple high, - a "House of God!"

Dwell with us, Thou! And when the stone
Shall be, at eve, our resting-place
Heaven's ladder be to us let down, 
And may we see Thee, face to face!

Photos courtesy of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.

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