1 The festal morn, my God, is come
That calls me to Thy hallowed dome,
Thy presence to adore;
My feet the summons shall attend,
With willing steps Thy courts ascend,
And tread the sacred floor.
2 And now we greet with raptured eyes,
Fair Zion towering to the skies;
Within her gates we stand:
City of peace! how sweet the sight
When all thy sons in love unite,
A holy, happy band.
3 Hither from Judah’s utmost end,
The Heaven protected tribes ascend,
Their offerings hither bring;
Here eager to attest their joy,
In hymns of praise their tongues employ
And hail th’immortal King.
4 May peace forever dwell with thee,
O Salem—thus with bended knee,
To Jacob’s God we pray;
How blest who calls himself thy friend,
Success his labors shall attend,
And safety guard his way.
5 O may’st thou, free from hostile fear,
Never the voice of tumult hear,
Nor wasting war deplore;
May Plenty nigh thee take her stand,
And in thy courts with lavish hand,
Distribute all her store.
6 Seat of my friends and brethren, hail!
Ne’er shall my tongue, O Zion, fail
To bless thy loved abode;
Ne’er cease the zeal that in me glows
To seek thy good, whose walls enclose
The mansion of my God.
Merrick, James , M.A., was born in 1720, and educated at Oxford, where he became a Fellow of Trinity College. He entered Holy Orders, but his health would not admit of parish work. He died at Reading, 1769. His publications include:—
(1) Messiah, a Divine Essay. Humbly dedicated to the Reverend the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and the Visitors of the Free School in Reading. By James Merrick, Ætat. 14, Senior Scholar of the School at their last Terminal Visitation, the 7th of October, 1734. Reading. (2) The Destruction of Troy. Translated from the Greek of Tryphiodorus into English Verse, with Notes, &c. 1742. (3) Poems on Sacred Subjects. Oxford . 1763. (4) The Psalms of David Translated or Paraphrased in English Verse… Go to person page >
The festal morn, my [O] God is come. J. Merrick. [Ps. cxxii. Sunday Morning.] Published in his Poems, 1763; and again in his Psalms Translated or Paraphrased in English Verse, 1765, p. 327, in 7 stanzas of 6 lines. It was given in several of the older, and is still retained in a few modern collections, but usually in an abbreviated and slightly altered form, as in Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872; E. Prout's Psalmist, 1878, and others. In the American Prayer Book Collection, 1826, stanzas i.-v. were given as "With joy shall I behold the day." This form is repeated in several American collections, including The Church Hymnal, Philadelphia, 1869; and in 4 stanzas in the Protestant Episcopal Church Hymnal, 1871.