George Wither

(11 June 1588 – 2 May 1667 / Bentworth, Hampshire)

Psalm CXLVIII


Come, oh! come, with sacred lays,
Let us sound th' Almighty's praise;
Hither bring in true concent,
Heart, and voice, and instrument.
Let the orpharion sweet,
With the harp and viol meet:
To your voices tune the lute:
Let not tongue nor string be mute;
Nor a creature dumb be found,
That hath cither voice or sound.

Let such things as do not live,
In still music praises give:
Lowly pipe, ye worms that creep
On the earth or in the deep;
Loud aloft your voices strain,
Beasts and monsters of the main,
Birds, your warbling treble sing;
Clouds, your peals of thunder ring;
Sun and moon exalted higher,
And you, stars, augment the choir.

Come, ye sons of human race,
In this chorus take your place,
And amid this mortal throng,
Be you masters of the song.
Angels and celestial powers,
Be the noblest tenor yours.
Let, in praise of God, the sound
Run a never-ending round;
That our holy hymn may be
Everlasting, as is He.

From the earth's vast hollow womb,
Music's deepest bass shall come.
Sea and floods, from shore to shore,
Shall the counter-tenor roar.
To this concert, when we sing,
Whistling winds, your descant bring:
Which may bear the sound above,
Where the orb of fire doth move;
And so climb from sphere to sphere,
Till our song th' Almighty hear.

So shall He from heaven's high tower
On the earth His blessing shower;
All this huge wide orb we see,
Shall one choir, one temple be;
There our voices we will rear,
Till we fill it everywhere:
And enforce the fiends that dwell
In the air to sink to hell.
Then, oh! come, with sacred lays,
Let us sound th' Almighty's praise.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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