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THE TUNE. "Audientes” by Sir Arthur Sullivan is a gentle, emotional piece, rendering the first quatrain of each stanza in E flat unison, and the second in C harmony.
“TIS RELIGION THAT CAN GIVE."
This simple rhyme, which has been sung perhaps in every Sunday-school in England and the United States, is from a small English book by Mary Masters. In the preface to the work, we read, “The author of the following poems never read a treatise of rhetoric or an art of poetry, nor was ever taught her English grammar. Her education rose no higher than the spelling-book or her writing-master.”
Tis religion that can give
Lasting as eternity. Save the two sentences about herself, quoted above, there is no biography of the writer. That she was good is taken for granted.
The tune-sister of the little hymn is as scant of date or history as itself. No. 422 points it out in The Revivalist, where the name and initial seem to ascribe the authorship to Horace Waters.*
*From his Sabbath Bell. Horace Waters, a prominent Baptist layman, was born in Jefferson, Lincoln Co., Me., Nov. 1, 1812, and died in New York City, April 22, 1893. He was a piano-dealer and publisher.
"THERE IS A HAPPY LAND FAR, FAR AWAY.”
This child's hymn was written by a lover of children, Mr. Andrew Young, head master of Niddrey St. School, Edinburgh, and subsequently English instructor at Madras College, E. I. He was born April 23, 1807, and died Nov. 30, 1899, and long before the end of the century which his life-time so nearly covered his little carol had become one of the universal hymns.
A Hindoo, air or natural chanson, that may have been hummed in a pagan temple in the hearing of Mr. Young, was the basis of the little melody since made familiar to millions of prattling tongues.
Such running tone-rhythms create themselves in the instinct of the ruder nations and tribes, and even the South African savages have their incantations with the provincial “clicks” that mark the singers' time. With an ear for native chirrups and trills, the author of our pretty infant-school song succeeded in capturing one, and making a Christian tune of it.
The musician, Samuel Sebastian Wesley, some-time in the eighteen-forties, tried to substitute another melody for the lines, but “There is a happy land” needs its own birth-music.
"I HAVE A FATHER IN THE PROMISED LAND."
Another cazonet for the infant class. Instead of a hymn, however, it is only a refrain, and like the ring-chant of the “Hebrew Children,” and even more simplemowes its only variety to the change of one word. The third and fourth lines,
My father calls me, I must go
To meet Him in the Promised Land, -take their cue from the first, which may sing,
I have a Saviour
I have a brother .--and so on ad libitum. But the little ones love every sound and syllable of the lisping song, for it is plain and pleasing, and when a pinafore school grows restless nothing will sooner charm them into quiet than to chime its innocent unison.
Both words and tune are nameless and storyless.
"I THINK WHEN I READ THAT SWEET STORY”
While riding in a stage-coach, after a visit to a mission school for poor children, this hymn came to the mind of Mrs. Jemima Thompson Luke, of Islington, England. It speaks its own purpose plainly enough, to awaken religious feeling in young hearts, and guide and sanctify the natural childlike interest in the sweetest incident of the Saviour's life.
I think when I read that sweet story of old
And that I might have seen His kind look when He said, “Let the little ones come unto me.”
This is not poetry, but it phrases a wish in a child's own way, to be melodized and fixed in a child's reverent and sensitive memory.
Mrs. Luke was born at Colebrook Terrace, near London, Aug. 19, 1813. She was an accomplished and benevolent lady who did much for the education and welfare of the poor. Her hymn-of five stanzas—was first sung in a village school at Poundford Park, and was not published until 1841.
THE TUNE. It is interesting, not to say curious, testimony to the vital quality of this meek production that so many composers have set it to music, or that successive hymn-book editors have kept it, and printed it to so many different harmonies. All the chorals that carry it have substantially the same movement-for the spondaic accent of the long lines is compulsory—but their offerings sing “to one clear harp in divers tones.”
The appearance of the words in one hymnal with Sir William Davenant's air (full scored) to Moore's love-song, "Believe me, if all those en
and's ait full scored) to