1 JEHOVAH reigns, let every nation hear,
2 And at his footstool bow with holy fear;[Page 111]
3 Let heaven's high arches echo with his name,
4 And the wide peopled earth his praise proclaim;
5 Then send it down to hell's deep glooms resounding,
6 Thro' all her caves in dreadful murmurs sounding.
7 He rules with wide and absolute command
8 O'er the broad ocean and the stedfast land;
9 JEHOVAH reigns, unbounded, and alone,
10 And all creation hangs beneath his throne:
11 He reigns alone; let no inferior nature
12 Usurp, or share the throne of the Creator.
13 He saw the struggling beams of infant light
14 Shoot thro' the massy gloom of ancient night;
15 His spirit hush'd the elemental strife,
16 And brooded o'er the kindling seeds of life;
17 Seasons and months began the long procession
18 And measur'd o'er the year in bright succession.
19 The joyful sun sprung up th' etherial way
20 Strong as a giant, as a bridegroom gay;
21 And the pale moon diffus'd her shadowy light
22 Superior o'er the dusky brow of night;
23 Ten thousand glittering lamps the skies adorning,
24 Numerous as dew drops from the womb of morning.
25 Earth's blooming face with rising flowers he drest,
26 And spread a verdant mantle o'er her breast;
27 Then from the hollow of his hand he pours
28 The circling waters round her winding shores,
29 The new-born world in their cool arms embracing,
30 And with soft murmurs still her banks caressing.
31 At length she rose complete in finish'd pride,
32 All fair and spotless like a virgin bride;
33 Fresh with untarnish'd lusture as she stood
34 Her Maker blest his work, and call'd it good;[Page 113]
35 The morning stars with joyful acclamation
36 Exulting sung, and hail'd the new creation.
37 Yet this fair world, the creature of a day,
38 Tho' built by GOD's right hand, must pass away,
39 And long oblivion creep o'er mortal things,
40 The fate of empires, and the pride of kings:
41 Eternal night shall veil their proudest story,
42 And drop the curtain o'er all human glory.
43 The sun himself, with weary clouds opprest,
44 Shall in his silent, dark pavilion rest;
45 His golden urn shall broke and useless lie,
46 Amidst the common ruins of the sky:
47 The stars rush headlong in the wild commotion
48 And bathe their glittering foreheads in the ocean.
49 But fix'd, O GOD, for ever stands thy throne;
50 JEHOVAH reigns, a universe alone;
51 Th' eternal fire that feeds each vital flame,
52 Collected, or diffus'd is still the same.
53 He dwells within his own unfathom'd essence,
54 And fills all space with his unbounded presence.
55 But oh! our highest notes the theme debase,
56 And silence is our least injurious praise;
57 Cease, cease your songs, the daring flight controul,
58 Revere him in the stillness of the soul:
59 With silent duty meekly bend before him,
60 And deep within your inmost hearts adore him.
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Title (in Source Edition): HYMN I.
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Other works by Anna Laetitia Barbauld (née Aikin)
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- HYMN III. For EASTER-SUNDAY. ()
- HYMN IV. ()
- HYMN to CONTENT. ()
- HYMN V. ()
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- THE ORIGIN OF SONG-WRITING. ()
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- SONG III. ()
- SONG IV. ()
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- SONG VI. ()
- [SONG] I. ()
- A Summer Evening's Meditation. ()
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- VERSES on MRS. ROWE. ()
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