Sunday Hymnary: “Into the Woods” by Sidney Lanier, 1880

j04327041Some may recognize the name of this of this hymn writer/poet.  My brother was in a literary society at Bob Jones University which bore his name.  Lanier, the “po­et laur­e­ate of Georg­ia,” earned his de­gree from Ogle­thorpe Coll­ege. In 1879, he was ap­pointed lec­tur­er on Eng­lish lit­er­a­ture at Johns Hopkins Un­i­ver­si­ty in Bal­ti­more, Ma­ry­land.  He was al­so an ac­comp­lished con­cert flu­tist.  More about Lanier here.

Does anyone know what Lanier’s religious beliefs were?  In what reading I was able to do, I found nothing definitive.  An interesting hymn text…still mulling over some of the word pictures.

Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forspent, forspent,
Into the woods my Master came,
Forspent with love and shame.
But the olives they were not blind to Him.
The little grey leaves were kind to Him,
The thorn tree had a mind to Him,
When into the woods He came.

Out of the woods my Master came
And he was well content;
Out of the woods my Master came,
Content with death and shame.
When death and shame would woo Him last,
From under the trees they drew Him last,
‘Twas on a tree they slew Him-last
When out of the woods He came.


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