Earth has detained me prisoner long

Earth has detained me prisoner long

Author: Isaac Watts
Published in 10 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Earth has detain'd me prisoner long;
But I’m grown weary now:
My heart, my hands, my ears my tongue
There’s nothing here for you.

2 Tired myself I lay me down,
And upward cast my eyes,
Upward, my Father, to thy throne,
And to my native skies.

3 There the dear Lord, my Saviour sits;
O see how bright he shines!
And scatters infinite delights
On all the happy minds.

4 Seraphs with elevated strains
Circle the throne around;
And charm, and move the starry plains
With an immortal sound.

5 Jesus the Lord their harps employs,
"Jesus my love they sing,"
"Jesus" the God of both our joys,
Sounds sweet from every string.

6 Now would I rise to join the song,
And be an angel too;
My heart my hands, my ears, my tongue
There's joyful work for you.

7 I would begin the music here,
And so my soul shall rise;
O! for some heav'nly note to bear
My spirit to the skies!

Source: A Collection of Spiritual Songs and Hymns #XX

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Earth has detained me prisoner long
Author: Isaac Watts
Copyright: Public Domain


Earth hath detain'd me prisoner long. I. Watts. [Praise.] This "Song of the Angels above" appeared in his Horae Lyrica, 1706, in 22 stanzas of 4 lines. In Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, 12 stanzas were given as No. 175, beginning with stanza ii. in an altered form as "Earth has engrossed my love too long." The centos in modern hymnals, as Spurgeon's Our Own Hymn Book, 1866; Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872, and others are taken from this arrangement.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #10941
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The Cyber Hymnal #10941

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