Scripture Verse

He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground, a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. Psalm 107:33–4


Thomas Gibbons (1720–1785)
National Portrait Gallery


Words: At­trib­ut­ed to Tho­mas Gib­bons in A Se­lect­ion of Hymns from the Best Au­thors, by John Rip­pon (1751–1836), num­ber 501, alt. On a year of threat­en­ing drought.

Music: Ban­gor Will­iam Tan­s’ur, 1734 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

William Tans’ur (1700–1783)


The spring, great God, at Thy com­mand,
Leads forth the smil­ing year;
Gay ver­dure, fo­liage, blooms and flow­ers,
T’adorn her reign, ap­pear.

But soon canst Thou in right­eous wrath
Blast all the pro­mised joy,
The ele­ments await Thy nod
To bless, or to des­troy.

The sun, Thy min­is­ter of love,
That from the na­ked ground
Calls forth the hid­den seeds to birth,
And spreads their beau­ties round;

But now, at God’s dread or­der sends
Destructive darts and fires;
Hills, plains, and vales are parched with drought,
And bloom­ing life ex­pires.

Like bur­nished brass, the heav’n around
In ang­ry ter­ror burns;
Our earth be­comes a joy­less waste,
And in­to ir­on turns.

O pity, Lord, in our dis­tress,
Nor with our land con­tend;
Bid the aveng­ing skies re­lent,
And show­ers of mer­cy send.