Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Revision 2

This is the last revision I will torture you with. It likely needs a complete re-write or perhaps discarded as a mere exercise and nothing more. My purpose in posting the piece was not to convince anybody that I was a good poet (trust me), but to illustrate the point that you don’t just throw a few religious sounding phrases together in 15 minutes and call it a hymn. It takes hard work. But it is always an enjoyable process, even when it doesn’t turn out to be the next “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.
First of all, the last line needed something more solid to build up to the point that the worshiper would fall on his face before the throne of God. Many excellent hymns have used the imagery in the book of Revelation to good effect.
“Casting down their golden crowns
Around the glassy sea,”

It is imagery that never grows old or stale. Only a badly written hymn can make the biblical imagery of heaven look silly. A 30 second review of Rodeheaver’s Gospel Solos and Duets turns up jewels such as these.
I am coming near the city
My Savior’s hands have piled,
And I know my Father is waiting
To welcome home His child
For unworthy tho’ I be,
He will find a place for me,
For He is the King of Glory
The Man of Galilee!

Or this one…
There’s a place for my soul that He doth prepare,
And its beauty by faith I can view;
First of all, when I enter that mansion fair,
I want to see Jesus, don’t you? (don’t you?)

Ouch! That is not a song for singing, it is a song for laying down and avoiding.

So, to fix our last verse I tried something like this…
Now to our Maker, Monarch, King!
The Savior of us all,
Let ev’ry heart high honor bring,
And low before Him fall.

However, as one friend kindly pointed out, “you can’t do that”. It destroys the whole point of the “King” verse. There has to be the thought of victory or conquering somewhere in the verse. We still want to emphasize the idea of a sovereign King, so this came up next.

Then to our Ruler, Monarch, King
The Victor of us all
Let ev’ry heart high honor bring,
And low before Him fall.

You loose a bit of alliteration, but you keep a strong noun parallel that elevates the victorious King to a position high above His subjects who are bowing low before Him.

Now I’ll have to put that on the shelf for a few weeks or months and then come back to it. At that point, perhaps I will find it worth working on again, or perhaps not.

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