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Harmon L.M.

By Aldo Thomas Ceresa

E minor
Plain tune
Time signature
Perez Morton; James Montgomery;Timothy Dwight, c.1778; 1822

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Named for Joel Harmon* (1772-1833), whose tune Despair partly inspired the above setting of Perez Morton's "When Jesus wept..." text. (Morton's hymn was first set to William Billings' tune, Emmaus in 1778, and consists of a single stanza of poetry. Additional verses for this setting were selected from texts by James Montgomery and Timothy Dwight.) This song was originally written in 2007, with some minor modifications in 2010. Sung by The Art Mob in their Winter, 2010 concerts, Harmon appears on p. 105 of the fifth edition of Northern Harmony (2012).

*Joel Harmon was a cousin of William W. Phelps, author of "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning" and other hymn texts, and for whom my tune Phelps was named. Both were also distant cousins of mine, as it turns out.


When Jesus wept, a falling tear
In mercy flowed beyond all bound.
When Jesus groaned, a trembling fear
Seized all the guilty world around.

O God, thou art my God alone,
Early to thee, my soul shall cry;
A pilgrim in a land unknown,
A thirsty land whose springs are dry.

In that lone land of deep despair,
No Sabbath’s heav’nly light shall rise;
Saviour regard this bitter prayer,
Send down thy mercy from the skies.