What Shall the Harvest Be

Sowing the seed by the daylight fair

Author: Emily S. Oakey
Tune: [Sowing the seed by the daylight fair] (Bliss)
Published in 124 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Sowing the seed by the dawn-light fair,
Sowing the seed by the noonday glare,
Sowing the seed by the fading light,
Sowing the seed in the solemn night:
O what shall the harvest be?

Refrain:
Sown in the darkness or sown in the light,
Sown in our weakness or sown in our might,
Gathered in time or eternity,
Sure, ah! sure, will the harvest be.

2 Sowing the seed by the wayside high,
Sowing the seed on the rocks to die,
Sowing the seed where the thorns will spoil,
Sowing the seed in the fertile soil:
O what shall the harvest be?

3 Sowing the seed with an aching heart,
Sowing the seed while the tear-drops start,
Sowing in hope, till the reapers come,
Gladly to gather the harvest home:
O what shall the harvest be?


Source: The Song Book of the Salvation Army #931

Author: Emily S. Oakey

A graduate of Albany Female Academy in New York. Taught rhetoric, composition, and foreign languages there for 24 (or 25) years. Contributed to at least 11 magazines. Published a book of poetry, At the Foot of Parnassus.. Wrote the hymn, “Sowing the Seed” in 1850. Originally published in “a western paper,” altered as it traveled from hand to hand. Popularized by Ira Sankey. Published in Gospel Hymns and Songs. Frequently requested from Edison Records, and recorded by them in 1904. According to Sankey, she was “a frail, delicate woman, always an invalid,mnever having known, as she once said, an hour of health in all her life.” E. Adams Sources: Sankey, Ira D. My Life and Sacred Songs (1906), 138-143, 281-284. Moore, Wendell… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Sowing the seed by the daylight fair
Title: What Shall the Harvest Be
Author: Emily S. Oakey
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Sown in the darkness or sown in the light
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Two hymns,"I am so glad that our Father in heaven," and "Sowing the seed by the daylight [dawnlight] fair," (sometimes given as "Sowing our seed in the morning fair") are usually attributed to Mr. Bliss. In his Gospel Songs, Cincinnati, 1874, however, he lays claim to the music only. Mr. Sankey attributes this last to " E. A. Oakey." With the exception of No. 48, these hymns are given in Mr. Sankey's Sacred Songs & Solos, Pts. i. and ii. Their popularity is far beyond their literary merits, and is mainly due to the simple melodies to which they are wedded. As a writer of hymns of this class Mr. Bliss is second only to Mrs. Van Alstyne. Many anecdotes concerning hymns of this class are given in American Evangelists; an Account of their work in England and America, by the Rev. Elias Nason, Boston, U.S., Lathrop & Co., 1877.
Mr. Bliss is usually known as "P. P. Bliss." This is found on the title-pages of his collections. On his own authority, however, we are enabled to say that his name originally stood thus: “Philipp Bliss.” Early in life he separated the final p from his Christian name, constituted it a capital P, and thus produced "P. P. Bliss." (For this article we are mainly indebted to Professor F. M. Bird, and Mr. H. P. Main.)

-John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 3 of 3)

Sacred Selections for the Church #509

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #7656

Text

The Song Book of the Salvation Army #931

Include 121 pre-1979 instances
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