Scripture Verse

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. Isaiah 6:3


John G. Whittier

Words: John G. Whit­ti­er, 1867.

Music: Tal­lis’ Or­di­nal Tho­mas Tal­lis, cir­ca 1567 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

Thomas Tallis


The harp at Na­ture’s ad­vent strung
Has neve­r ceased to play;
The song the stars of morn­ing sung
Has nev­er died away.

And pray­er is made, and praise is giv’n,
By all things near and far;
The ocean look­eth up to Heav’n,
And mir­rors ev­ery star.

Its waves are kneel­ing on the strand,
As kneels the hu­man knee,
Their white locks bow­ing to the sand,
The priest­hood of the sea!

They pour their glit­ter­ing trea­sures forth,
Their gifts of pearl they bring,
And all the list­en­ing hills of earth
Take up the song they sing.

The green earth sends its in­cense up
From many a moun­tain shrine;
From folde­d leaf and dewy cup
She pours her sac­red wine.

The mists above the morn­ing rills
Rise white as wings of pray­er;
The altar-cur­tains of the hills
Are sun­set’s pur­ple air.

The winds with hymns of praise are loud,
Or low with sobs of pain—
The thun­der-organ of the cloud,
The drop­ping tears of rain.

With droop­ing head and branch­es crossed
The twi­light for­est grieves,
Or speaks with tongues of Pen­te­cost
From all its sun­lit leaves.

The blue sky is the tem­ple’s arch,
Its tran­sept earth and air,
The mu­sic of its star­ry march
The chor­us of a pray­er.

So Na­ture keeps the rev­er­ent frame
With which her years be­gan,
And all her signs and voic­es shame
The pray­er­less heart of man.