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O God, My Strength and Fortitude

O God, my strength and fortitude

Author: Thomas Sternhold (1549)
Published in 29 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 O God, my Strength and Fortitude,
Of force I must love Thee;
Thou art my Castle and Defense,
In my necessity.

2 The Lord Jehovah is my God,
My Rock, my Strength, my Wealth;
My strong Deliverer and my Trust,
My spirit's only Health.

3 In my distress I sought my God,
I sought Jehovah's face:
My cry before Him came; He heard
Out of His holy place.

4 The Lord descended from above
And bowed the heavens most high;
And underneath His feet He cast
The darkness of the sky.

5 On cherub and on cherubim
Full royally he rode.
And on the wings of mighty winds
Came flying all abroad.

6 The voice of God did thunder high.
The lightnings answered keen;
The channels of the deep were bared,
The world's foundations seen.

7 And so delivered He my soul;
Who is a rock but He?
He liveth - blessed be my Rock;
My God exalted be.

The Hymnal: Published by the authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895

Author: Thomas Sternhold

Thomas Sternhold was Groom of the Robes to Henry VIII and Edward VI. With Hopkins, he produced the first English version of the Psalms before alluded to. He completed fifty-one; Hopkins and others composed the remainder. He died in 1549. Thirty-seven of his psalms were edited and published after his death, by his friend Hopkins. The work is entitled "All such Psalms of David as Thomas Sternhold, late Groome of the King's Majestye's Robes, did in his Lyfetime drawe into Englyshe Metre." Of the version annexed to the Prayer Book, Montgomery says: "The merit of faithful adherence to the original has been claimed for this version, and need not to be denied, but it is the resemblance which the dead bear to the living." Wood, in his "Athe… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O God, my strength and fortitude
Title: O God, My Strength and Fortitude
Author: Thomas Sternhold (1549)
Language: English


O God, my strength and fortitude. T. Sternhold. [Ps. xviii.] This version of the xviiith Psalm appeared in the Old Version, 1561, and was repeated in all the subsequent editions of the Old Version. In the older hymn-books a cento therefrom was in somewhat extensive use in Great Britain and America. It began,

“The Lord descended from above
And bow'd the heavens high:
And underneath His feet he cast
The darkness of the sky,"

and consisted of stanzas ix., x. and i., in the order named. In some collections the second line reads "And bow'd the heavens most high," and an additional stanza is placed between sts. ii. and iii., as "He sat serene upon the floods," an altered form of Sternhold's version of Ps. xxix. 10.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)


ST. MAGNUS (Clarke)

ST. MAGNUS first appeared in Henry Playford's Divine Companion (1707 ed.) as an anonymous tune with soprano and bass parts. The tune was later credited to Jeremiah Clark (b. London, England, c. 1670; d. London, 1707), who was a chorister in the Chapel Royal and sang at the coronation of James II in…

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ST. ANDREW (Tans'ur)


SONG 67 was published as a setting for Psalm 1 in Edmund Prys's Welsh Llyfr y Psalmau (1621). Erik Routley (PHH 31) suggests that the tune should be ascribed to Prys. Orlando Gibbons (PHH 167) supplied a new bass line for the melody when it was published with a number of his own tunes in George With…

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The Cyber Hymnal #4871
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Rejoice in the Lord #86Text
The Cyber Hymnal #4871TextScoreAudio
Include 27 pre-1979 instances