1 Thou wast, O God, and Thou wast blest
Before the world begun;
Of Thine Eternity possest
Before Time's glass did run.
Thou needesst none Thy praise to sing,
As if Thy joy could fade:
Couldst Thou have needed anything,
Thou couldst have nothing made.
2 Great and good God, it pleaséd Thee
Thy Godhead to declare;
And what Thy goodness did decree,
Thy greatness did prepare:
Thou spak'st, and heaven and earth appeared,
And answered to Thy call;
As if their Maker's voice they heard,
Which is the creature's all.
3 To whom, Lord should I sing, but Thee,
The Maker of my tongue?
Lo! other lords would seize on me,
But I to Thee belong.
As waters haste unto their sea,
And earth unto its earth,
So let my soul return to Thee,
From whom it had its birth.
4 But ah! I'm fallen on the night,
And cannot come to Thee:
Yet speak the word, "Let there be Light!"
It shall enlighten me.
And let Thy Word, most mighty Lord,
Thy fallen creature raise;
O make me o'er again, and I
Shall sing my Maker's praise.
Mason, John. The known facts of his life are scanty. He was the son of a Dissenting Minister, and the grandfather of John Mason, the author of A Treatise on Self-Knowledge. He was educated at Strixton School, Northants, and Clare Hall, Cambridge. After taking his M.A., he became Curate of Isham; and in 1668, Vicar of Stantonbury, Bucks. A little more than five years afterwards he was appointed Rector of Water-Stratford. Here he composed the volume containing The Songs of Praise, his paraphrase of The Song of Solomon, and the Poem on Dives and Lazarus, with which Shepherd's Penitential Cries was afterwards bound up. This volume passed through twenty editions. Besides the Songs of Praise, it contains six Penitential Cries by Mason, and it i… Go to person page >
THIRD MODE MELODY is the third of nine tunes Thomas Tallis composed for Matthew Parker's The Whole Psalter (c. 1561). This magnificent tune is worth the trouble it may take to learn. Diephouse set the text with this tune in mind, since it kept coming to him as he was working on the text. Many may kn…