1 From whence these dire portents around,
That strike us with unwonted fear?
Why do these earthquakes rock the ground,
And threaten our destruction near?
Ye prophets smooth, the cause explain,
And lull us to repose again.
2 "Or water swelling for a vent,
Or air impatient to get free,
Or fire within earth’s entrails pent";
Yet all are ordered, Lord, by Thee;
The elements obey Thy nod,
And nature vindicates her God.
3 The pillars of the earth are Thine,
And Thou hast set the world thereon;
They at Thy threatening look incline,
The center trembles at Thy frown;
The everlasting mountains bow,
And God is in the earthquake now!
4 Now, Lord, to shake our guilty land,
Thou dost in indignation rise;
We see, we see Thy lifted hand
Made bare a nation to chastise,
Whom neither plagues nor mercies move
To fear Thy wrath or court Thy love.
5 Therefore the earth beneath us reels,
And staggers like our drunken men,
The earth the mournful cause reveals,
And groans our burden to sustain;
Ordained our evils to deplore,
And fall with us to rise no more.
Charles Wesley, M.A. was the great hymn-writer of the Wesley family, perhaps, taking quantity and quality into consideration, the great hymn-writer of all ages. Charles Wesley was the youngest son and 18th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, and was born at Epworth Rectory, Dec. 18, 1707. In 1716 he went to Westminster School, being provided with a home and board by his elder brother Samuel, then usher at the school, until 1721, when he was elected King's Scholar, and as such received his board and education free. In 1726 Charles Wesley was elected to a Westminster studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1729, and became a college tutor. In the early part of the same year his religious impressions were much deepene… Go to person page >
Display Title: From Whence These Dire Portents Around?First Line: From whence these dire portents around?Tune Title: ST. CATHERINEAuthor: Charles WesleyMeter: 88.88.88Source: Hymns Occasioned by the Earthquake, March 8, 1750, second edition, 1756