Begin, my soul, th’exalted lay,
Let each enraptured thought obey,
And praise th’Almighty’s name;
Lo! Heav’n and earth, and seas, and skies
In one melodious concert rise
To swell th’inspiring theme!
Ye fields of light, celestial plains,
Where gay transporting beauty reigns,
Ye scenes divinely fair!
Your maker’s wondrous power proclaim,
Tell how He formed your shining frame,
And breathed the fluid air.
Ye angels, catch the thrilling sound!
While all th’adoring throngs around
His wondrous mercy sing;
Let every listening saint above,
Wake all the tuneful soul of love,
And touch the sweetest string.
Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir!
Thou dazzling orb of liquid fire
The mighty chorus aid;
Soon as grey evening gilds the plain,
Thou moon, protract the melting strain,
And praise Him in the shade.
Thou, Heav’n of heav’ns, His vast abode,
Ye clouds, proclaim your forming God!
Ye thunders, speak His power!
Lo! on the lightning’s gleamy wing
In triumph walks th’eternal King,
Th’astonished worlds adore.
Whate’er the gazing eye can find,
The warms or soothes the musing mind,
United praise bestow;
Ye dragons, sound His dreadful name
To Heav’n aloud, and roar acclaim,
Ye swelling deeps, below!
Let every element rejoice:
Ye tempests, raise your mighty voice
Praise Him who bid you roll!
His praise in softer notes declare
Each whispering breeze of yielding air,
And breathe it to the soul.
To Him, ye graceful cedars, bow!
Ye towering mountains, bending low,
Your great creator own!
Tell, when affrighted nature shook,
How Sinai kindled at His look,
And trembled at His frown.
Ye flocks that haunt the humble vale,
Ye insects fluttering on the gale,
In mutual concourse rise!
Crop the gay rose’s vermeil bloom,
And waft its spoils, a sweet perfume,
In incense to the skies.
Wake, all ye mounting throngs, and sing!
Ye plumy warblers of the spring,
Harmonious anthems raise,
To Him who shaped your finer mold,
Who tipped your glittering wings with gold,
And tuned your voice to praise.
Let man, by nobler passions swayed,
The feeling heart, the judging head,
In heav’nly praise employ;
Spread His tremendous name around,
Till Heav’n’s broad arch ring back the sound,
The general burst of joy.
Ye, whom the charms of grandeur please,
Nursed on the silky lap of ease,
Fall prostrate at His throne!
Ye princes, rulers, all adore!
Praise Him, ye kings! who makes your power
An image of His own.
Ye fair, by nature formed to move,
O praise th’eternal source of love
With youth’s enlivening fire!
Let age take up the tuneful lay,
Sigh His blest name—then soar away,
And ask an angel’s lyre.