Archive for the ‘Bayard Taylor’ Tag

Feast of Bradford Torrey (October 7)   Leave a comment

Birds in the Woods

Above:  Birds in the Woods

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-3929

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BRADFORD TORREY (OCTOBER 9, 1853-OCTOBER 7, 1912)

U.S. Ornithologist and Hymn Writer

Many, if not most, of the hymn writers I add to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days come from the ranks of professional religious people–ordained or lay.  Others are married or related to them.  Then there are others–bankers, jewelers, historians, scientists, et cetera.  Bradford Torrey (1843-1912) belongs to this category.

Our saint, an ornithologist and nature writer, entered the world in Weymouth, Massachusetts.  He, educated in the public schools of Weymouth, worked as a staff member at The Youth’s Companion from 1886 to 1901.  Later he published in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly.  Torrey, who retired to Santa Barbara, California, in 1901, died eleven years later, two days shy of his sixty-ninth birthday.

Torrey wrote the following books:

  1. Birds in the Bush (1885);
  2. The Foot-Path Way (1892);
  3. A Florida Sketch-Book (1894);
  4. A Rambler’s Lease (1894);
  5. Spring Notes from Tennessee (1896);
  6. A World of Green Hills:  Observations of Nature and Human Nature in the Blue Ridge (1898);
  7. Everyday Birds:  Elementary Studies (1901);
  8. Footing It in Franconia (1901);
  9. The Clerk of the Woods (1903);
  10. Nature’s Invitation:  Notes of a Bird-Gazer North and South (1904);
  11. Friends of the Shelf (1906); and
  12. Field-Days in California (1913; published posthumously).

He also edited The Writings of Henry David Thoreau (twenty volumes, 1906).  All of these volumes are available at archive.org.  Volume I is here.

Torrey also wrote a hymn in 1875.  For decades the attribution was incorrect, for hymnal editors assigned authorship to Bayard Taylor (1825-1878), as in The Pilgrim Hymnal (National Council of Congregational Churches in the United States, 1904).  The Confusion resulted from the fact of one man’s mistake as to who “B. T.” was.  The Pilgrim Hymnal (1912) corrected the error, however.

Not so in haste, my heart!

Have faith in God and wait;

Although he seems to linger long,

He never comes too late.

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He never comes too late,

He knoweth what is best;

Vex not thyself,–it is in vain:

Until he cometh, rest.

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Until he cometh, rest,

Nor grudge the horns that roll;

The feet that wait for God, ’tis they

Are soonest at the goal,

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Are soonest at the goal

That is not gained by speed;

Then hold thee still, O restless heart,

For I shall wait his lead.

That is an excellent lesson to learn–one difficult for many of us.  The truly enlightened include those for whom it is an easily acquired one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BENNETT J. SIMS, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ATLANTA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF COMPIEGNE

THE FEAST OF SAINT NERSES LAMPRONATS, ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF TARSUS

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM WHITE, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

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God of grace and glory, you create and sustain the universe in majesty and beauty:

We thank you for Bradford Torrey and all in whom you have planted

the desire to know your creation and to explore your work and wisdom.

Lead us, like them, to understand better the wonder and mystery of creation;

through Jesus Christ your eternal Word, through whom all things were made.  Amen.

Genesis 2:9-20

Psalm 34:8-14

2 Corinthians 13:1-6

John 20:24-27

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 738

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