Scripture Verse

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


Words: Phil­ip Skel­ton, 1784.

Music: Ab­er­deen, pos­si­bly by An­drew Tait, in James Chal­mers’ un­ti­tled col­lect­ion, 1749. Me­lo­dy from Ru­di­ments of Mu­sic, by Ro­bert Brem­ner, 1756 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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


To God, ye choir above, be­gin
A hymn so loud and strong,
That all the uni­verse may hear
And join the grate­ful song.

Praise Him, thou sun, who dwells un­seen
Amidst trans­cen­dent light,
Where thy re­fulg­ent orb would seem
A spot, as dark as night.

Thou sil­ver moon, ye host of stars,
The uni­ver­sal song
Through the se­rene and si­lent night
To list­en­ing worlds pro­long.

Sing Him, ye dist­ant worlds and suns,
From whence no tra­vel­ing ray
Hath yet to us, through ag­es past,
Had time to make its way.

Assist, ye rag­ing storms, and bear
On ra­pid wings His praise,
From north to south, from east to west,
Through hea­ven, and earth, and seas.

Exert your voice, ye fu­ri­ous fires
That rend the wa­tery cloud,
And thun­der to this ne­ther world
Your mak­er’s words aloud.

Ye works of God, that dwell un­known
Beneath the roll­ing main;
Ye birds, that sing among the groves,
And sweep the az­ure plain;

Ye state­ly hills, that rear your heads,
And tow­er­ing pierce the sky;
Ye clouds, that with an aw­ful pace
Majestic roll on high;

Ye in­sects small, to which one leaf
Within its nar­row sides
A vast ex­tend­ed world dis­plays,
And spac­ious realms pro­vides;

Ye race, still less than these, with which
The stag­nant wa­ter teems,
To which one drop, how­ev­er small,
A bound­less ocean seems;

Whate’er ye are, wher­e’er ye dwell,
Ye crea­tures great or small,
Adore the wis­dom, praise the pow­er,
That made and gov­erns all.

And if ye want or sense or sounds,
To swell the grate­ful noise,
Prompt man­kind with that sense, and they
Shall find for you a voice.

From all the bound­less realms of space
Let loud ho­san­nas sound;
Loud send, ye won­drous works of God,
The grate­ful con­cert round.