Dear Lord and Father of mankind

Dear Lord and Father of mankind. John Greenleaf Whittier* (1807-1892). First printed in the Atlantic Monthly (April 1872), and then in Whittier’s The Pennsylvania Pilgrim, and Other Poems (Boston, 1872). This hymn seems so complete and serene that it comes as something of a shock to find that it consists of the closing stanzas (12-17) of an astonishing and peculiar poem entitled ‘The Brewing of Soma’. Whittier had read of Soma in the works of the anthropologist Max Müller, who is quoted at the head of the poem: ‘“These libations mixed with milk have been prepared for Indra; offer Soma to the drinker of Soma.” –Vashishta, translated by Max Müller.’ Müller’s Sacred Books of the East...

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