The BENEDICITE Paraphrased.
[ed.][Page 174] [ed.]
The heading "I." was omitted in Dodsley (1763
1 YE works of God, on him alone,
2 In earth his footstool, heaven his throne,
3 Be all your praise bestow'd;
4 Whose hand the beauteous fabrick made,
5 Whose eye the finish'd work survey'd,
6 And saw that all was good.
7 Ye angels, that with loud acclaim
8 Admiring view'd the new-born frame,
9 And hail'd th' eternal King;
10 Again proclaim your Maker's praise,
11 Again yonr thankful voices raise,
12 And touch the tuneful string.
13 Praise him, ye bless'd aetherial plains,
14 Where, in full majesty, he deigns
15 To fix his aweful throne:
16 Ye waters, that above him roll,
17 From orb to orb, from pole to pole,
18 Oh! make his praises known!
19 Ye thrones, dominions, virtues, pow'rs,
20 Join ye your joyful songs with ours,
21 With us your voices raise;
22 From age to age extend the lay,
23 To heav'n's eternal Monarch pay
24 Hymns of eternal praise.
25 Coelestial orb! — whose pow'rful ray
26 Opes the glad eyelids of the day,
27 Whose influence all things own;
28 Praise him, whose courts effulgent shine
29 With light, as far excelling thine,
30 As thine the paler moon.
31 Ye glitt'ring planets of the sky,
32 Whose lamps the absent sun supply,
33 With him the song pursue;
34 And let himself submissive own,
35 He borrows from a brighter Sun,
36 The light he lends to you.
37 Ye show'rs, and dews, whose moisture shed,
38 Calls into life the op'ning seed,
39 To him your praises yield;
40 Whose influence wakes the genial birth,
41 Drops fatness on the pregnant earth,
42 And crowns the laughing field.
43 Ye winds that oft tempestuous sweep
44 The ruffled surface of the deep,
45 With us confess your God;
46 See, thro' the heav'ns, the King of kings,
47 Up-borne on your expanded wings,
48 Come flying all abroad.
49 Ye floods of fire, where-e'er ye flow,
50 With just submission humbly bow
51 To his superior pow'r;
52 Who stops the tempest on its way,
53 Or bids the flaming deluge stray,
54 And gives it strength to roar.
55 Ye summer's heat, and winter's cold,
56 By turns in long succession roll'd,
57 The drooping world to chear;
58 Praise him, who gave the sun and moon,
59 To lead the various seasons on,
60 And guide the circling year.
61 Ye frosts, that bind the wat'ry plain,
62 Ye silent show'rs of fleecy rain,
63 Pursue the heav'nly theme:
64 Praise him who sheds the driving snow,
65 Forbids the harden'd waves to flow,
66 And stops the rapid stream.
67 Ye days and nights, that swiftly born,
68 From morn to eve, from eve to morn,
69 Alternate glide away;
70 Praise him, whose never-varying light,
71 Absent, adds horror to the night,
72 But present gives the day.
73 Light, — from whose rays all beauty springs,
74 Darkness, — whose wide-expanded wings
75 Involve the dusky globe:
76 Praise him, who, when the heav'ns he spread,
77 Darkness his thick pavilion made,
78 And light his regal robe.
79 Praise him, ye light'nings, as ye fly,
80 Wing'd with his vengeance thro' the sky,
81 And red with wrath divine;
82 Praise him, ye clouds, that wand'ring stray,
83 Or fix'd by him in close array,
84 Surround his aweful shrine.
85 Exalt, O earth! thy heav'nly King,
86 Who bids the plants, that form the spring,
87 With annual verdure bloom;
88 Whose frequent drops of kindly rain,
89 Prolific swell the rip'ning grain,
90 And bless thy fertile womb.
91 Ye mountains, that ambitious rise,
92 And heave your summits to the skies,
93 Revere his aweful nod;
94 Think how you once affrighted fled,
95 When Jordan sought his fountain-head,
96 And own'd th' approaching God.
97 Ye trees, that fill the rural scene,
98 Ye flowers, that o'er th' enamel'd green
99 In native beauty reign,
100 O! praise the Ruler of the skies,
101 Whose hand the genial sap supplies,
102 And clothes the smiling plain.
103 Ye secret springs, ye gentle rills,
104 That murm'ring rise among the hills,
105 Or fill the humble vale;
106 Praise him, at whose almighty nod
107 The rugged rock dissolving flow'd,
108 And form'd a springing well.
109 Praise him, ye floods, and seas profound,
110 Whose waves the spacious earth surround,
111 And roll from shore to shore;
112 Aw'd by his voice, ye seas, subside,
113 Ye floods, within your channels glide,
114 And tremble and adore.
115 Ye whales, that stir the boiling deep,
116 Or in its dark recesses sleep,
117 Remote from human eye;
118 Praise him, by whom ye all are fed,
119 Praise him, without whose heavenly aid
120 Ye languish, faint, and die.
121 Ye birds, exalt your Maker's name,
122 Begin, and with th' important theme
123 Your artless lays improve;
124 Wake with your songs the rising day,
125 Let musick sound on ev'ry spray,
126 And fill the vocal grove.
127 Praise him, ye beasts, that nightly roam
128 Amid the solitary gloom,
129 Th' expected prey to seize;
130 Ye slaves of the laborious plough,
131 Your stubborn necks submissive bow,
132 And bend your weary'd knees.
133 Ye sons of men, his praise display,
134 Who stampt his image on your clay,
135 And gave it pow'r to move;
136 Yet that in Judah's confines dwell,
137 From age to age successive tell
138 The wonders of his love.
139 Let Levi's tribe the lay prolong,
140 'Till angels listen to the song,
141 And bend attentive down;
142 Let wonder seize the heav'nly train,
143 Pleas'd, while they hear a mortal strain,
144 So sweet, so like their own.
145 And you, your thankful voices join,
146 That oft at Salem's sacred shrine
147 Before his altars kneel;
148 Where thron'd in majesty he dwells,
149 And from the mystick cloud reveals
150 The dictates of his will.
151 Ye spirits of the just and good,
152 That, eager for the blest abode,
153 To heav'nly mansions soar;
154 O! let your songs his praise display,
155 'Till heav'n itself shall melt away,
156 And time shall be no more.
157 Praise him, ye meek and humble train,
158 Ye saints, whom his decrees ordain
159 The boundless bliss to share;
160 O! praise him, 'till ye take your way
161 To regions of eternal day,
162 And reign for ever there.
163 Let us, what now impassive stand,
164 Aw'd by the tyrant's stern command,
165 Amid the fiery blaze;
166 While thus we triumph in the flame,
167 Rise, and our Maker's love proclaim,
168 In hymns of endless praise.