The turf shall be my fragrant shrine

The turf shall be my fragrant shrine. Thomas Moore* (1779-1852).  This hymn is from Moore’s A Series of Sacred Songs, Duetts and Trios (1816). It is little known in Britain, but was popular at one time in the USA, especially in Unitarian/Universalist hymnals, although it was also found in the important Plymouth Collection* of Hymns and Tunes, edited by Henry Ward Beecher* . Its central theme of ‘the temple of nature’ was attractive to Unitarians and others of a similar persuasion. Moore’s original text was as follows:  The turf shall be my fragrant shrine; My temple, Lord! that Arch of thine; My censer’s breath the mountain airs, And silent thoughts my only prayers. My choir shall be the...

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