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Ere God had built the mountains

Ere God had built the mountains

Author: William Cowper
Published in 15 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. Ere God had built the mountains,
Or raised the fruitful hills;
Before He filled the fountains
That feed the running rills;
In me from everlasting,
The wonderful I Am,
Found pleasures never wasting,
And Wisdom is my name.

2. When, like a tent to dwell in,
He spread the skies abroad,
And swathed about the swelling
Of Ocean’s mighty flood;
He wrought by weight and measure,
And I was with Him then:
Myself the Father’s pleasure,
And mine, the sons of men.

3. Thus Wisdom’s words discover
Thy glory and Thy grace,
Thou everlasting Lover
Of our unworthy race!
Thy gracious eye surveyed us
Ere stars were seen above;
In wisdom Thou hast made us,
And died for us in love.

4. And couldst Thou be delighted
With creatures such as we,
Who, when we saw Thee, slighted,
And nailed Thee to a tree?
Unfathomable wonder,
And mystery divine!
The voice that speaks in thunder,
Says, Sinner, I am thine!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #1354

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Ere God had built the mountains
Author: William Cowper

Notes

Ere God had built the mountains. W. Cowper. [Divine Wisdom.] Published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. i., No. 52, in 4 stanzsa of 8 lines and based on Prov. viii. 22-31. It is found in several collections, both old and new, in Great Britain, and is also in use in America. A rendering into Latin, "Priusquam Deus altos montes," by R. Bingham, was given in his Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871, p. 251. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #1354
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)

Instances

Instances (1 - 1 of 1)
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The Cyber Hymnal #1354

Include 14 pre-1979 instances
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