Scripture Verse

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty. Psalm 104:1

Introduction

portrait
Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

Words: Is­aac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid 1719. The glo­ry of God in cre­ation and pro­vi­dence.

Music: Park Street Fred­er­ick M. Ve­nua, cir­ca 1810 (🔊 pdf nwc) (re­peats last line of each verse).

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Ve­nua (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Lyrics

My soul, thy great cre­at­or praise:
When clothed in His ce­les­ti­al rays,
He in full ma­jes­ty ap­pears,
And like a robe His glo­ry wears.

The heav’ns for His cur­tains spread,
Th’unfathomed deep He makes His bed.
Clouds are His cha­ri­ot when He flies
On wing­èd storms across the skies.

Angels, whom His own breath in­spires,
His mi­ni­sters, are flam­ing fires;
And swift as thought their ar­mies move
To bear His ven­geance or His love.

The world’s foun­da­tions by His hand
Are poised, and shall for ev­er stand;
He binds the ocean in His chain,
Lest it should drown the earth again.

When earth was co­vered by the flood,
Which high above the mount­ains stood,
He thun­dered, and the ocean fled,
Confined to its ap­point­ed bed.

The swell­ing bil­lows know their bound,
And in their chan­nels walk their round;
Yet thence con­veyed by sec­ret veins
They spring on hills and drench the plains.

He bids the crys­tal foun­tains flow,
And cheer the val­leys as they go;
Tame hei­fers there their thirst al­lay,
And for the stream wild ass­es bray.

From plea­sant trees which shade the brink,
The lark and lin­net light to drink;
Their songs the lark and lin­net raise
And chide our si­lence in His praise.

God from His cloudy cis­tern pours
On the parched earth en­rich­ing show­ers;
The grove, the gar­den, and the field,
A thou­sand joy­ful bless­ings yield.

He makes the grassy food arise,
And gives the cat­tle large su­pplies;
With herbs for man of va­ri­ous pow­er,
To nour­ish nature or to cure.

What no­ble fruit the vines pro­duce!
The ol­ive yields in shin­ing juice;
Our hearts are cheered with ge­ner­ous wine,
With in­ward joy our fac­es shine.

O bless His name, ye Bri­tons, fed,
With na­ture’s chief sup­port­er, bread;
While bread your vi­tal strength im­parts,
Serve Him with vi­gor in your hearts.

Behold the state­ly ce­dar stands,
Raised in the fo­rest by His hands:
Birds to the boughs for shel­ter fly
And build their nests se­cure on high.

To crag­gy hills as­cends the goat;
And at the ai­ry mount­ain’s foot
The feeb­ler crea­tures make their cell;
He gives them wis­dom where to dwell.

He sets the sun his circ­ling race,
Appoints the moon to change her face;
And when thick dark­ness veils the day,
Calls out wild beasts to hunt their prey.

Fierce li­ons lead their young abroad,
And roar­ing ask their meat from God;
But when the morn­ing beams arise,
The sav­age beast to co­vert flies.

Then man to dai­ly la­bor goes;
The night was made for his re­pose:
Sleep is Thy gift; that sweet re­lief
From tire­some toil and wast­ing grief.

How strange Thy works! How great Thy skill!
And ev­ery land Thy rich­es fill:
Thy wis­dom round the world we see,
This spa­cious earth is full of Thee.

Nor less Thy glo­ries in the deep,
Where fish in mill­ions swim and creep,
With won­drous mo­tions, swift or slow,
Still wan­der­ing in the paths be­low.

There ships di­vide their wa­tery way,
And flocks of sca­ly mon­sters play;
There dwells the huge Le­via­than,
And foams and sports in spite of man.

Vast are Thy works, al­migh­ty Lord,
All na­ture rests up­on Thy Word,
And the whole race of crea­tures stands,
Waiting their por­tion from Thy hands.

While each re­ceives his dif­fer­ent food,
Their cheer­ful looks pro­nounce it good;
Eagles and bears, and whales and worms,
Rejoice and praise in dif­fer­ent forms.

But when Thy face is hid, they mourn,
And dy­ing to their dust re­turn;
Both man and beast their souls re­sign,
Life, breath, and spir­it, all is Thine.

Yet Thou canst breathe on dust again,
And fill the world with beasts and men;
A word of Thy cre­at­ing breath
Repairs the wastes of time and death.

His works, the won­ders of His might,
Are hon­ored with His own de­light:
How awful are His glo­ri­ous ways!
The Lord is dread­ful in His praise.

The earth stands trem­bling at Thy stroke,
And at Thy touch the mount­ains smoke;
Yet hum­ble souls may see Thy face,
And tell their wants to so­ve­reign grace.

In Thee my hopes and wish­es meet,
And make my me­di­ta­tions sweet:
Thy prais­es shall my breath em­ploy,
Till it ex­pire in end­less joy.

While haugh­ty sin­ners die ac­cursed
Their glo­ry bur­ied with their dust,
I, to my God, my hea­ven­ly king,
Immortal hal­le­lu­jahs sing.