Comments on: Advent 2009: “A Stranger Star,” Orson F. Whitney, Evan Stephens Where our past is never very long ago Mon, 04 May 2015 22:14:57 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ariel Sat, 30 Oct 2010 19:08:31 +0000 I’ve been reading “Elias” lately; all of these lines are directly from there. The entire work is well done, if a bit over the top at times. I’m quite enjoying it.

By: Ardis E. Parshall Fri, 06 Nov 2009 02:06:44 +0000 Thank you, Ed. Re-reading it not as a hymn, but imagining a very powerful reader declaiming it (as Justin suggests) gives me some idea of more successful poetry. It would take an extremely skillful reader, though, to pull it off, I think, and as a culture (not just Mormon, but wider), we’re out of touch with that style of performance.

Researcher, “With Wond’ring Awe” seems to fit, doesn’t it?

By: Ed Tuttle Thu, 05 Nov 2009 23:28:28 +0000 If I am not wrong, the first verse at least comes directly from the “Elect of Elohim” in Whitney’s epic work “Elias.” While the hymn may not be singable, I personally think that it is tragic that we as a people so frequently pass around banal emails written in doggerel prose, but few remember “Elias” for some of its gems. For instance, the “Elect of Elohim” contains a few lines, appearing before the portion quoted in the hymn, about the the Savior’s charge which I find inspiring:

“Go forth, thou chosen of the Gods,
Whose strength shall in thee dwell!
Go down betime and rescue earth,
Dethroning death and hell
On thee alone man’s fate depends,
The fate of beings all.
Thou shalt not fail, though thou art free–
Free, but too great, to fall.”

By: Researcher Thu, 05 Nov 2009 21:12:17 +0000 I know I’ll have to duck and run for cover to admit, in this company, that I absolutely despise “The Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close,” (hymn 37) but I’m simply not a fan of Orson F. Whitney’s poetry. On the other hand, I do like Evan Stephens, and I love Welsh music. This piece is a fair example of that genre and has some nice harmonies, and would sound lovely sung by a Welsh choir. (But perhaps with other words. What other text is in “8’s & 7’s”?)

By: Justin Thu, 05 Nov 2009 18:49:22 +0000 Perhaps Whitney’s epic poetry is better suited for recitation (or silent reading) than singing.