So far in 2022, 11 million people from 200-plus countries around the world have benefitted from the Hymnary website! Thank you to all who use and all who support it with gifts of time, talent and treasure. If you feel moved to support our work today with a gift of any amount and a word of encouragement, we would be grateful. You can donate online at our secure giving site. Or, if you'd like to make a gift by check, please send it to:, Calvin University, 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. May the hope, love, joy and peace of Advent be yours this day and always.

Psalm II

Why do the heathen nations rise

Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

I. Why do the heathen nations rise
With unavailing rage?
Why thus to dare th'avenging skies,
In impious plots engage?

II. Proud monarchs meet, and breathing war,
Raise their vain threatnings high
Against the Lord, and boldly dare
His chosen king defy.

III. "Shall we submit to his commands,
And bend the suppliant knee?
No, let us break the servile bands,
We are, and will be free."

IV. Heav'n's awful sov'reign, thron'd on high,
Surveys their airy dreams,
He smiles contempt; in ruin lie
Their vainly labour'd schemes.

V. His dreadful anger now awakes;
Their hearts what terrors wound!
Almighty pow'r affronted speaks,
And wrath attends the sound!

VI. "My chosen king exalted see,
On Zion's sacred hill!
Attend the solemn fix'd decree,
And learn Jehovah's will!"

VII. "Thou art my son, thee I proclaim
Earth's universal Lord;
Of pow'rs and potentates supreme,
Thy name shall be ador'd."

VIII. "Ask, and I give to thee alone,
The heathens wide domain;
And earth's remotest end shall own
Thy uncontested reign."

IX. "Who will not to thy scepter bow,
Shall feel thy iron rod;
And crush'd in helpless ruin, show
The vengeance of a God.'

X. Be wise, ye monarchs, learn to fear
The pow'r, of pow'rs supreme;
With awful, trembling joy revere
The Lord's exalted name.

XI. While mercy, with inviting rays,
Shines radiant in his eyes,
Approach; for should his anger blaze,
Th'unpardon'd rebel dies.

XII. When fury kindling in his eye,
Each guilty breast alarms;
Happy the souls who gladly fly
For refuge to his arms.

Source: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 2 #132

Author: Anne Steele

Anne Steele was the daughter of Particular Baptist preacher and timber merchant William Steele. She spent her entire life in Broughton, Hampshire, near the southern coast of England, and devoted much of her time to writing. Some accounts of her life portray her as a lonely, melancholy invalid, but a revival of research in the last decade indicates that she had been more active and social than what was previously thought. She was theologically conversant with Dissenting ministers and "found herself at the centre of a literary circle that included family members from various generations, as well as local literati." She chose a life of singleness to focus on her craft. Before Christmas in 1742, she declined a marriage proposal from contemporar… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Why do the heathen nations rise
Title: Psalm II
Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Language: English
Publication Date: 1760
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 2 #132

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support