Friday, September 19th, 2008 | Author:

I was just directed to a poem, perhaps the lyrics to a hymn, written by none other than Alexander Hamilton. It was such a blessing, my heart is still singing. I don’t know as I’ve ever read anything, other than the Bible, that was so clearly inspired by the Holy Spirit. I’ve gotten permission from my friend Hercules Mulligan to repost it here, in the hope that others will also be blessed.

Soul Ascending into Bliss
October 17, 1772

AH! whither, whither am I flown,
A wandering guest in worlds unknown?
What is that I see and hear?
What heav’nly music fills mine ear?
Etherial glories shine around;
More than Arabias sweets abound.

Hark! hark! a voice from yonder sky!
Methinks I hear my Saviour cry,
Come gentle spirit come away,
Com to thy Lord without delay;
For thee the gates of bliss unbar’d
Thy consant virtue to reward.

I come oh Lord! I mount, I fly,
On rapid wings I cleave the sky;
Stretch out thine arm and aid my flight;
For oh! I long to gain that height,
Where all celestial beings sing
Eternal praises to their King.

O Lamb of God! thrice gracious Lord
Now, now I feel how true thy word;
Translated to this happy place,
This blessed vision of thy face;
My soul shall all thy steps attend
In songs of triumph without end.

“Although it is impossible to determine beyond dispute that Hamilton was the author of this poem, it is attributed to him by J. C. Hamilton (John Church Hamilton, a son of Alexander Hamilton), who refers to it as ‘a hymn,’ but ascribes it to the period when Hamilton attended school in Elizabethtown, New Jersey (The Life of Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton, J.C., vol. I, 10 and The Works of Alexander Hamilton, editor Hamilton, J.C., vol. I, 48). In the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress, there is a copy of an unidentified writing of the first three verses of this poem. At the end of the third verse is written in the same hand: “Written by A.H. when 18 years old.” At the bottom of the page in still another handwriting is written: “This is a copy in pencil by Alex: Hamilton, my uncle – P.S.” The “P.S” presumably refers to the Philip Schuyler who was the son of George L. Schuyler. George L. Schuyler had married Hamilton’s granddaughter, Mary Hamilton, daughter of James A. Hamilton. The Alexander Hamilton who copied the poem was probably the son of James A. Hamilton, brother-in-law of George Schuyler and uncle of Philip Schuyler.” –from The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, volume 1

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3 Responses
  1. Hercules Mulligan says:

    Thanks for posting this, Jean. I am so excited that word about this wonderful work is getting around! Thanks for linking back to me ;) but just for your future reference and convenience, you only need to link to the post or blog homepage. You don’t need to link to my profile (though you may do so if you wish, I only want to assure you that I want to save you a heckle).

    It was a real bright spot in my day to know that you were blessed and encouraged by this. I was also blessed to read your kind comments, back at my original post. I responded to them in more detail there. Thanks.

    After reading your copy of my post, I noticed a little typographical error, which is my responsibility. “…ascribes i” should be “ascribes it.” Perhaps it’s not a big deal, though. But it caught my eye. I;m sorry if that was inconvenient!

    Well, I’ve gone on a while, and I must get going.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Mrs. Mecomber says:

    I’ve seen the poem, as well. It was how Alexander Hamilton won my heart– he really was a wonderful man. I hope to see him someday, in the sweet by-and-by.

    Have a blessed weekend.

  3. akaGaGa says:

    Herky: The typo is fixed, and that heckling thing could go either way – so I’m game if you are. :)

    Mrs. M: I suspect that “Hammy” will have a line of people waiting to praise the Lord with him.

    Blessings to you both.