The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

27 February 1855


Polysophical Society; Lorenzo Snow’s Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

A large white house surrounded by trees

Lorenzo Snow’s home on South Temple Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo taken circa 1920. (Courtesy Church History Library.)

Address.—No. 5—

Nationality.

Most courteously, this evening, I’ll present

Before this audience, a sentiment—

At least a hint on Nationality,

A love—or rather a partiality

For birth-place, country, and the people where

Our lungs, at first, inhale the vital air.

One might as well, my thoughts exterminate—

My place in pedigree, annihilate,

Or the warm pulse of life, eradicate

As to efface or to remove from me

The sentiment of Nationality.

It, of my nature, constitutes a part—

Unites with all the life-blood of my heart,

And, if no trait, or portion of my spirit,

’Tis something I eternally inherit.

Not all the charms, surrounding scenes impart,

Can chase these high-ton'd feelings from my heart;

For oft—full oft, so tenderly they yearn;

A kindling impulse prompts a fond return

Unto the land of my nativity—

My native home—my native scenery.

But where—O where, the land, so choice—so dear?

Which is the nation, I so much revere?

I do not languish for the lakes and rills—

The rugged heights of Europe’s Alpine hills—

The verdant vales, which beauteously repose

’Neath their bold summits of eternal snows.

Nor would I boast a proud nativity [n.p.]

On the luxuriant plains of Italy,

With glowing, sunny landscapes, rich & fair—

Tall city spires and grand cathedrals there,

Where the salubrious climate’s genial heat,

Gives to the pulse, a soft and ardent beat—

Where nature, with accelerated force,

With less of time, completes her wonted course.

Nor yet in Germany where laws are made

To fit, like tenons of the workman’s trade—

Where every code of civil policy,

Mocks the precision of geometry—

Where ease and luxury are smiling round,

And merry glee and cheerfulness abound:

Where summer meadows and the harvest field,

To man and beast, a joyous plenty yield.

Not Britain, with its mountains, hills & dales

Including England, Ireland, Scotland, wales,

With inland products and ship-crested coast,

Comprising much that wealth and honor boast;

With far-famed Cities, Towns and villas too,

Where genius flourish’d and where valor grew—

With all varieties of grade and sphere

Of home, sweet home—most lovely and most dear—

The honor’d home of noble thousands, where

Are executed with judicious care

Those legal powers, created to bestow

Protection’s banner to the high and low;

And where religious toleration, now,

Above all elsewhere, lifts its manly brow.

Not Sweden, Denmark, Norway, nor yet France,

Where revolution’s onward strides advance,

And then reced, as tides that ebb and flow— [n.p.]

As moons, that waxing, waning, onward go.

While soft refinement, with its graceful air,

Displays a master-stroke of polish there:

Where vinous foliage—native fruits & flow’rs

Vie with exotics, in luxurious bow’rs.

Neither America’s much favor’d land,

Where Lehi, guided by Jehovah’s hand,

Obtain’d a place for him and his to be

Thro’ generations of posterity;

Where those choice records—where the truth was formed

As said Isaiah, “speaking from the ground.

Not coasts, nor capes, nor Islands of the sea;

For none I cherish partiality.

I say, with brother Eddington, I’m not

Italian, Hindoo, English, German, Scot,

Neither American, Swiss, Welsh <or> Dane,

Nor yet an Islander from Ocean’s main,

Nor Spanish, French, Norweigian or Swede—

I claim no country, nation, kingdom, creed,

Excepting Zion; that I proudly name—

That is the home I fondly love to claim:

Were I to boast of nationality,

I’d go beyond this frail mortality.

The noblest spirits scatter’d o’er the earth,

By truth’s eternal infl’ence gather’d forth

From Babylon to earthly Zion, here,

Are on their way to heav’n’s celestial sphere:

Our inns—our stopping places, which, or where,

Do‘n’t matter, when we’ve paid our bills of fare.

One God, one faith, one baptism—we are now [n.p.]

All in one kingdom—at one altar bow:

The union of the Father and the Son,

Is heav’n’s true pattern—we must all be one:

All local feelings should be laid aside,

And former diff’rences no more divide.

The time approaches—Zion soon will be

The pride of earthly nationality

When 'twill the histories of those adorn

Of whom 'tis said “they were in Zion born.’

The holy Spirit which a saint receives

Is one sense added to what nature gives,

And 'tis <forms> a pow’rful telescope whereby

We look beyond the stretch of mortal eye.

Its keen perceptive vision takes a view

Of origen and destination too.

Instructed by this spirit-sense, we learn

What our corporeal senses can’t discern.

It shows we are not natives of this earth—

We pre-existed—had an earlier birth—

A clime and habitation highly pure

Beyond what these gross senses can endure.

There is the charm, the nationality—

The spring of impulse actuating me:

That is the point to which I would attain—

The country—home I fondly would regain.

From whence, for noble purposes, we all,

To gain experience thro’ our Parents’ fall—

To gain the zenith of perfected worth,

Have come on pilgrimage, thro’ mortal birth.

As foreign travelers, each, a camping ground,

On diff’rent portions of the earth, have found: [n.p.]

The force of habit gives to each a grace—

Peculiar charms to each and ev’ry place;

And yet, with all the adoration felt,

As at their shrines, devotedly we knelt,

Not one—not all possess sufficient worth,

To make us feel quite nat’raliz’d to earth.

Our hearts beat upward and our feelings move

In homeward currents, towards those we love

Where uncorrupted nature’s beauties glow—

Where life’s pure streams from endless fountains flow;

And there the sixth, the spirit-sense will lead,

If to its dictates we give constant heed,

And its refining process will prepare

Us for a full and free reception there:

And there we’ll talk of nationality,

With the celestials of Eternity. [n.p.]

Source Note

Eliza R. Snow, Journal (1842–1882), n.p., CHL (MS 1439).

See also “Nationality,” Deseret News 6, no. 16 (25 June 1856): 121.