The starry firmament on high

Representative Text

1 The starry firmament on high,
And all the glories of the sky,
Yet shine not to thy praise, O Lord,
So brightly as thy written word.

2 The hopes that holy word supplies,
Its truths divine and precepts wise,
In each a heavenly beam I see,
And every beam conducts to thee.

3 Almighty Lord, the sun shall fail,
The moon her borrowed glory veil,
And deepest reverence hush on high
The joyful chorus of the sky.

4 But fixed for everlasting years,
Unmoved amid the wreck of spheres,
Thy word shall shine in cloudless day,
When heaven and earth have passed away.

Source: The Seventh-Day Adventist Hymn and Tune Book: for use in divine worship #174

Author: Robert Grant

Robert Grant (b. Bengal, India, 1779; d. Dalpoorie, India, 1838) was influenced in writing this text by William Kethe’s paraphrase of Psalm 104 in the Anglo-Genevan Psalter (1561). Grant’s text was first published in Edward Bickersteth’s Christian Psalmody (1833) with several unauthorized alterations. In 1835 his original six-stanza text was published in Henry Elliott’s Psalm and Hymns (The original stanza 3 was omitted in Lift Up Your Hearts). Of Scottish ancestry, Grant was born in India, where his father was a director of the East India Company. He attended Magdalen College, Cambridge, and was called to the bar in 1807. He had a distinguished public career a Governor of Bombay and as a member of the British Parliament, where… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The starry firmament on high
Author: Robert Grant
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The starry firmament on high. Sir B. Grant. [Psalm xix.] This was given in Lord Glenelg's posthumous edition of Grant's Sacred Poems, 1839, p. 28, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed with the following words:—

"This is intended as a sequel or counterpart to Addison's hymn, 'The spacious firmament.' It corresponds to the latter portion of the 19th Psalm, as Addison's does to the former."

The use of this paraphrase in its full form is confined to a few American collections. The last stanza, "Almighty Lord, the sun shall fail," is given in Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884, as No. 233.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



TALLIS CANON is one of nine tunes Thomas Tallis (PHH 62) contributed to Matthew Parker's Psalter (around 1561). There it was used as a setting for Psalm 67. In the original tune the melody began in the tenor, followed by the soprano, and featured repeated phrases. Thomas Ravenscroft (PHH 59) publish…

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JORDAN (Barnby)

One of the 246 hymn tunes by Joseph Barnby (PHH 438), JORDAN was published in The Hymnary (1872) as a setting for "Sing to the Lord a Joyful Song." JORDAN contains several repeated phrases. Barnby originally composed the tune to be sung in harmony with phrases 5 and 7 sung in unison, although the fu…

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The Cyber Hymnal #6361
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The Cyber Hymnal #6361

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