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The Eternal One

A tender portrait of the divine
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson's seminal essay, "The Oversoul," extols a supreme being endowed with infinite benevolence, beauty, omnipresence, and, above all, unity with all beings.  The lyric of this warm and tender ballad is comprised of some of the most poetic images from this essay, creating a portrait of God that is both powerful and intimate.

The Eternal One was originally composed as part of the concert-length work, Go Out!

This song is also available in the collection A Love Like That: Songs of Unconditional Love.

Vocal Ranges:  Low: a-c#" / Medium: c'-e" / High: e'-g"

The Over-soul (excerpt)

Essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Excerpted / adapted by Elizabeth Alexander

It comes to the lowly,
It comes to the simple,
It comes to whomever will put off what is foreign or proud.
It comes as insight,
It comes as serenity,
It comes as grandeur.
Within us the soul of the whole,
Within us the wise silence,
Within us the universal beauty
To which every part and particle is equally related:
The Eternal ONE.

When it breathes through our intellect, it is genius.
When it breathes through our will, it is virtue.
When it flows through our affection, it is love.

Forever and ever, forever and ever,
There is no ceiling between our heads and the infinite heavens.
Within us the soul of the whole,
Within us the wise silence,
Within us the universal beauty:
The Eternal ONE.


John Hubert and Elizabeth Alexander ~ National Conference of Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (Madison, WI)  * Premiere

Shreyas Patel and Susan Snyder ~ First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville (Nashville, TN)






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