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Akerman L.P.M.

By Jesse P. Karlsberg

E♭ major
Fuging tune
Time signature
Isaac Watts, 1719


I wrote this song in May of 2012 on behalf of Emory University Libraries as a present for Laura Akerman in recognition of her thirty-five years at Emory. John Plunkett suggested that some verses from Isaac Watts' versification of Psalm 19, titled "The books of nature and of scripture," might be appropriate for a librarian, while Sarah Ward, John Plunkett, and Mark Godfrey all helped me identify favorite songs of Laura's that might serve as an inspiration. The resulting song incorporates some musical characteristics of Laura's favorite compositions by Paine Denson, Ruth Denson Edwards, and Nehemiah Shumway.

"Akerman" was presented to Laura at a celebration held at the Robert W. Woodruff Library in early June 2012, and was sung the next day at the montly Decatur singing at Emory Presbyterian Church. The song was also sung at the Composium at Camp Fasola, Youth Emphasis, on July 5, 2012.

"Akerman" was published in The Trumpet (volume 3, number 1).


Where'er he spreads his beams abroad,
He smiles and speaks his Maker God
All nature joins to show thy praise:
Thus God in ev'ry creature shines;
Fair is the book of nature's lines,
But fairer is thy book of grace.

I love the volumes of thy word;
What light and joy those leaves afford
To souls benighted and distressed!
Thy precepts guide my doubtful way,
Thy fear forbids my feet to stray,
Thy promise leads my heart to rest.

Who knows the errors of his thoughts?
My God, forgive my secret faults,
And from presumptuous sins restrain:
Accept my poor attempts of praise,
That I have read thy book of grace,
And book of nature, not in vain.