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Dark hills of Moab! flinging down

Dark hills of Moab! flinging down

Author: Horatius Bonar
Tune: LLEF
Published in 2 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Dark hills of Moab! flinging down
Your shadows on this gloomy vale;
Wild chasms! through which desert wind
Rushes, in everlasting wail.

2 Mountains of silence! keeping watch
Above this stagnant, sullen wave,
Where sunshine seems to smile in vain
O’er Sodom’s melancholy grave.

3 Day’s youngest beauty and its last
Bathes your broad foreheads, stern and bare;
Yet all unsoftened is their frown;
No cheer, no love, no beauty there.

4 I may not climb your awful slopes;
Yet, standing on this hungry shore,
By this poor reed-brake of the sand,
I count your shadows o’er and o’er.

5 In this lone lake, your ancient roots
Lie steeped in bitterness and death;
Your summits rise all verdureless,
Scorched by its hot and hellish breath.

6 Yon sea! its molten silver spreads,
And steams into the burning air;
Yon sunlight that across it plays,
How sad, and yet how strangely fair.

7 Haunt of old riot and lewd song,
When Sodom spread its splendor here;
O sea of wrath, how silent now!
The shroud of cities and their bier.

8 O valley of the shade of death!
O sea, of ancient sin the tomb!
O hills, sin’s hoary monument,
And type of the eternal doom!

9 Well might the prophet’s curse have come
From peaks where horrors only dwell;
And idol altars smoke on cliffs
That seem the very gates of hell!

10 And yet ye gaze on Judah’s vales,
Ye hear the rush of Jordan’s flood!
Ye looked on Zion’s palace hill,
And saw the temple of our God!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #9242

Author: Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar was born at Edinburgh, in 1808. His education was obtained at the High School, and the University of his native city. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1837, and since then has been pastor at Kelso. In 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. His reputation as a religious writer was first gained on the publication of the "Kelso Tracts," of which he was the author. He has also written many other prose works, some of which have had a very large circulation. Nor is he less favorably known as a religious poet and hymn-writer. The three series of "Hymns of Faith and Hope," have passed through several editions. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Dark hills of Moab! flinging down
Author: Horatius Bonar
Publication Date: 1861
Copyright: Public Domain



Griffith Hugh Jones (b. Ty Du, Llanberis, Wales, 1849; d. Rhiwddolion, Wales, 1919) composed LLEF in memory of his brother, Rev. D. H. Jones, and the tune was first sung (prior to publication) at a Cymanfa, a Welsh song festival. LLEF was first published in David Jenkins's Gemau Mawl (1890). The hau…

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The Cyber Hymnal #9242
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #9242

Include 1 pre-1979 instance
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