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"...thine alabaster cities..." ???

Posted by Bob on February 23, 2000

In Reply to: Re: "...whose alabaster cities gleam..." posted by Bruce Kahl on February 22, 2000

: : This phrase is tormenting me to find its origin. I recall seeing it in, of all places, a field book from the '60's about plants and animals:

: : "...whose alabaster cities gleam
: : undimmed (or undimm'd) by human tears."

: : Anyone?

: America, the Beautiful

: Samuel Ward, 1882

: 4. O beautiful for patriot dream
: That sees beyond the years
: Thine alabaster cities gleam
: Undimmed by human tears!
: America! America!
: God shed his grace on thee
: And crown thy good
: With brotherhood
: From sea to shining sea!

:
: : Thanks...

: : --dave

I found these original lyrics from 1895. I thought I had remembered "thine" alabaster cities, so I went searching. I hadn't expected, however, the last two lines, which seem to have been re-written by custom over the last century.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again Thy whiter jubilee!