Hail to the Lord's Anointed

Full Text

1. Hail to the Lord's Anointed,
great David's greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free;
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

2. He comes with succor speedy
to those who suffer wrong;
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying,
are precious in his sight.

3. He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth;
love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
spring in his path to birth.
Before him on the mountains,
shall peace, the herald, go,
and righteousness, in fountains,
from hill to valley flow.

4. To him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend;
his kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.
The tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
his name shall stand forever;
that name to us is love.

The United Methodist Hymnal

Author: James Montgomery

Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hail to the Lord's anointed
Title: Hail to the Lord's Anointed
Author: James Montgomery (1821)
Meter: D
Liturgical Use: Scripture Songs


This is James Montgomery's best psalm rendering. It is based on Ps. 72 and was written in eight stanzas for, and included in, a Christmas Ode which was sung at one of the Moravian settlements, perhaps Fulneck, in the United Kingdom, Christmas, 1821. It was published in the following year in the Evangelical Magazine and entitled "Imitation of the 72d psalm (Tune: Culmstock)."

—The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal

I need not tell the intelligent reader that he has seized the spirit and exhibited some of the principal beauties of the Hebrew bard, though, to use his own words in letter to me, his "hand trembled to touch the harp of Zion." I take the liberty here to register a wish, which I have strongly expressed to himself, that he would favor the Church of God with a metrical version of the whole book.

—Dr. Adam Clarke: Exposition to "Commentary on Psalm 72"




Published in a chapel hymnal for the Duke of Würtemberg (Gesangbuch der Herzogl, 1784), ELLACOMBE (the name of a village in Devonshire, England) was first set to the words "Ave Maria, klarer und lichter Morgenstern." During the first half of the nineteenth century various German hymnals altered the…

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ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVOGELEIN, a German folk tune, was first published in an early-seventeenth-century manuscript collection from Memmingen, Germany. It later became a setting for Christopher Wordsworth's (PHH 361) "O Day of Rest and Gladness" in George R. Woodward's Songs of Syon (1910 edition).…

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