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« Eat, drink, and be wary | Main | Faith and science together: Some thoughts on origins, part 2 »

February 01, 2007

An anthem and prayer

Today is the first day of Black History Month. In 1899, poet James Weldon Johnson penned the words to a piece called "Lift Every Voice and Sing." His brother John set it to music, and before long this song was known as the Black National Anthem. If you've ever read the words or sung the music of this song, you know why it became the anthem for a people. It's beautiful and stirring. Here's the last verse. May it be the anthem we all sing.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

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