1 In loftiest strains the great eternal praise;
Sing, sing his glory in sublimeft lays;
What nobler subjeft can the soul employ?
Can charm her more?--'tis ecstasy--'tis joy!
2 Sure, Salem, thou wilt gladly sing the Lord,
Thee to thy wonted glory who restor'd,
Who freed thy captive-sons from galling chains,
And safely led them to their natal plains.
3 'Tis he that gives the anguish'd spirit ease,
Heals up our wounds, and sooths our souls to peace:
4 He numbers all the starry worlds above;
He gives them names, and at his will they move.
5 Great is his glory, infinite his pow'r;
And who his boundless wisdom can explore?
6 The meek are his, and he rewards their worth,
While feel the wicked his avenging wrath.
7 With grateful hearts the great Jehovah sing;
And tune his praises on the warbling string;
8 'Tis he the heav'ns with low'ring clouds obscures;
That on the plains sends down his fruitful show'rs;
That on the mountains bids his grass to grow,
And makes the barren hills with plenty flow;
9 The bestial tribes that with their food supplies,
And hears the callow raven, when he cries.
10 Not in the valiant chief, the man of might,
Nor in the warrior-steed, he takes delight;
11 But in those humble souls, sincerely just,
Who fear his name, and in his mercy trust
12 Thy mighty God, O happy Salem, praise;
The tuneful voice, ye sons of Sion, raise;
13 Your gates he binds with adamantine bars;
He ev'ry blessing for your race prepares;
14 He crowns your cities and your plains with peace;
And gives your yellow harvests rich increase:
15 His awful voice our earth obedient hears,
And with her plenteous gifts all nature chears;
16 His hoary frosts he scatters on the plains,
And o'er the hills his snowy fleeces rains;
17 He binds the waters with his freezing air;
His cold, say, feeble mortal, can'st thou bear?
18 He bids at will the milder winds to blow;
The air grows warmer, and the waters flow:
19 On Jacob he his sacred laws bestow'd;
His heav'nly statutes to his Israel shew'd:
20 Not thus to other nations he hath done,
Nor they his statutes nor his laws have known.