America, the Beautiful Lyrics Graphic Template

America the Beautiful

by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

Notes on the Hymn

Katharine Lee Bates, Head of the English Department of Wellesley College, wrote this hymn during an 1893 summer sabbatical. Inspired by the beautiful scenery on a trip to the summit of Pike's Peak, she jotted a few notes into a journal. But it was not until two years later that she wrote out the four verses, poetically describing what she had observed.

This hymn is a deeply-felt and well-crafted statement on the United States of America. Bates defines a country founded on liberty and freedom and the sacrifice, discipline and restraint of patriots governed by law. She writes of a country blessed with immense natural resources. She also stressed a country dependent on the continual blessings of God.

Katharine Lee Bates devoted her life's work to education. She strongly believed in the value of literature in revealing and developing values. Though she wrote many other poems and literary works, none approach the popularity of "America, the Beautiful."

About the Author Larry Frazier

Larry spent 24 years teaching music at the University of West Georgia to over 6,000 students. Ten years ago, Larry and his wife Mary Lynn, received comfort, support and inspiration from traditional Christian hymns while she overcame stage-three colon cancer. Larry is on a mission to help you discover God’s incredible power through the intersection of faith and Christian music in your life.