Scripture Verse

Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise Him in the heights. Praise ye Him, all his angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. Praise ye Him, sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars of light. Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Psalm 148:1–4


Words: John Ogil­vie, 1749.

Music: Fran­ces James McGran­ahan, 1901 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Ogil­vie (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

James McGranahan

Origin of the Hymn

The Au­thor of this par­a­phrase was great­ly sur­prised, up­on look­ing over the Chris­tian Ma­ga­zine for Sep­tem­ber 1760, to find it in­sert­ed there, with an el­e­gant in­tro­duc­to­ry let­ter, and as­cribed to an EM­I­NENT PHY­SI­CIAN.

It was in truth writ­ten by Mr. Ogil­vie, when he was ve­ry young, and was origin­al­ly print­ed in the Scots Ma­ga­zine for Feb­ru­ary 1753, and was dat­ed from Edin­burgh, where he hap­pened at that time to spend the sea­son for his ed­u­ca­tion.

He is great­ly mis­tak­en, if the in­i­tial let­ters of his name are not sub­joined to the Po­em. Some years af­ter­wards it was sent to an em­i­nent Eng­lish Book­sel­ler (who, if he hap­pens to read this note, will re­col­lect the fact); and as a few al­ter­a­tions were made in that co­py, which are adopt­ed ver­ba­tim in the Chris­tian Ma­ga­zine, the Au­thor finds, that his man­u­script, and not the print­ed co­py, has fall­en in­to the hands of some ve­ry mo­dest gen­tle­man.

This af­fair is too trif­ling to be treat­ed ser­ious­ly. On­ly Mr. Ogil­vie thought it nec­es­sary to as­sign the rea­son for which it ap­pears in the pre­sent Col­lect­ion.

He owes an ac­know­ledg­ement to the per­son who sent this piece to the Au­thors of the Chri­stian Ma­ga­zine, for the high pan­e­gyr­ic which he is pleased to make on it but is af­raid that he will not re­ceive an ac­know­ledge­ment from the EM­I­NENT PHY­SI­CIAN, for as­crib­ing to HIM the per­for­mance of a boy of six­teen.

John Ogi­lvie, Poe­ms on Sev­er­al Sub­jects
Volume 1, page 109
Lon­don: George Pearch, 1769


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.