John Speller's Web Pages Eliza Scudder, Vesper Hymn

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Eliza Scudder, Vesper Hymn Untitled Untitled Untitled
Eliza Scudder was born in Weston, Massachussets in 1821, the daughter Charles Scudder, a prominent Boston merchant, and Fear Sears Scudder. Her uncle, the Rev. Edward Hamilton Sears, D.D., was a prominent Unitarian Minister who wrote the well-known Christmas carol, "It came upon the midnight clear," and her brother, Horace Scudder, was the editor of the Atlantic Monthly. In later life Ms. Scudder converted to Episcopalianism, and (like her famous kinswoman Vida Scudder) from around 1870 she fell heavily under the influence of Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), the Rector of Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston, and later Bishop of Massachusetts, who became a lifelong friend. Her poetry epitomizes what is finest in nineteenth-century Episcopalianism reflecting a piety that is deep but not unquestioning. Ms. Scudder died in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1896. Her "Vesper Hymn," considered by her brother to be her finest poem, is here set to the old English folksong, "Forest Green," as harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams in the English Hymnal of 1906.
Trinity Church, Copley Square, designed by H. H. Richardson and built between 1872 and 1877
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