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Recreations for Solitary Hours

A Paraphrase of the 148th Psalm

page 31

A Paraphrase of the 148th Psalm.

Give praise all nature to the Eternal Lord,
In Hallelujahs loudly raise the song;
Him glorify, and in his praise accord,
Ye depths with heights which to the heavens belong,
Ye seraphs tune the lyre, your notes prolong
T' exalt the honours of th' Almighty's name.
Let heaven, earth, and sea in concert strong,
Be all alive with love's inspiring flame,
To sing his praise in rapt devotion's high acclaim.

Ye hosts of angels, high your anthems raise,
While minist'ring ye prostrate round the throne;
His boundless mercies sing in endless praise,
And tell of love whose greatness is unknown;
Ye countless spheres, in adoration own
Th' Almighty's power,—and all the starry train,—
Sun, moon, and planets, as ye journey on,
Proclaim his majesty,—protract each strain,
Nor cease till boundless space with echoes ring amain.

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Thou heaven of heavens, the Godhead's vast abode,
Still catch the sound, renew't in loftier praise;
Ye clouds, remember your creating God,
And dedicate to him your loudest lays—
Extol him, as he you at first did raise
By his command, from nothing, thus to be,
And also hath established your days
For ever to endure,—nor yet shall he
E'er make to pass away this sure and firm decree.

Whate'er the world contains in earth or air,
In concert wake, on him your praise bestow.
Ye dragons, his almighty power declare
In your creation. And ye floods below,
Whose stormy billows tossing to and fro
Oft lash the skies, in acclamation roar.
All fish which through the pathless deep do go,
His power make known, as ye your caves explore,
And joyfully his praise resound from shore to shore.

Ye awful thunders, as on high ye roll
A cannonading to obey his Will,
With hail, and snows, and vapours him extol;
Ye winds of storm, or breezes, which fulfill
page 33 His high behest, pipe forth with all your skill
His glory as ye blow. And heaving, rear
Your heads ye mountains, also every hill
Exult in praise:—and every tree draw near,
From shrubs to cedars tall to join the general cheer.

And all the creatures of the beastial tribes,
Both wild and tame, and insects of the air,
Proclaim his greatness, while your joy ascribes
Praise for his bountifulness; and declare
Ye reptiles all, his excellence;—be not spare
Ye birds, in praise, whether such as ascend,
Or perch, or walk,—and whether of plumage fair,
Harmonious be your anthems without end,
To him who tuned your voices,—Nature's greatest friend.

Should man be silent 'mid such general joy?—
Ye kings with all your people lowly bend,
And render homage due to the most High:
All princes praise him;—Judges who pretend
To have a power o'er fellows, condescend
With them ye rule t' exalt him God alone,
Whose seat no one usurping dare ascend.
page 34 Adore him at the footstool of his throne,
Whose blessing makes your power an image of his own.

Let youth to him in service spend its prime,
Him praise in soul's each sympathetic move;
Let infancy and hoary age their time
Combined employ t' adore the God of love,
For excellent's his name and far above
Both earth and heaven. Aloud his praises sing
Saints whom he loves: so, well it does behove
His own Israel, a tribute thus to bring,
Proclaiming Hallelujah to the eternal King.