Scripture Verse

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalm 19:1


Neil Barham (1962–)

Words: Neil Bar­ham, 2005.

Music: Kings­fold Eng­lish tune, ar­ranged by Ralph Vaugh­an Will­iams, 1906 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)


O God the deep im­mu­ta­ble,
The change­less, wise and still,
You’re the ab­so­lute, eter­nal One;
You wield the so­ve­reign will.
Deep Heav’n it­self and ev­en time
Must bend be­neath your sway.
With a whis­pered thought you ban­ish night
In a flash of blind­ing day.

The seas are boun­da­ried by your word;
Great mount­ains heed your call.
Majestic swirls of ga­lax­ies
Adorn your roy­al hall.
The cen­tu­ries are lumps of clay
Shaped by your strength and skill.
You mold the long mil­len­nia
To the dic­tates of your will.

The bound­less, black-robed skies pro­claim
Your vast, as­ton­ish­ing might:
Their flam­ing jew­els re­joice for you
In si­lent shouts of light.
With sure and so­ve­reign strokes your hands
Finger the cos­mic strings,
And play cel­es­ti­al sym­pho­nies
As all cre­ation sings.

And si­lent now, the an­gels stare;
Stunned se­raphs blush, amazed;
Great Mi­chael sheaths the sword that at
The Gate of Ed­en blazed.
Mighty Ga­bri­el sets his trump aside,
And list­ens to his Lord,
As Love in­com­pre­hen­si­ble
Enfleshes the Liv­ing Word.

Now space and time have cracked be­fore
The size of this ev­ent:
The God­head shud­ders as the
Glorious Son to Hell is sent.
Though Ve­ry God of Ve­ry God,
He counts it all but loss,
And comes and suf­fers as a man,
From the man­ger to the Cross.