Saturday, November 24, 2007

Longing for the house of God

Psalm LXXXIV (84), Particular Meter (Hallelujah Meter

1. Lord of the worlds above,
How pleasant and how fair
The dwellings of Thy love,
Thine earthly temples are!
To Thine abode
My heart aspires
With warm desires,
To see my God.

2. The sparrow for her young
With pleasure seeks a nest,
And wand’ring swallows long
To find their wonted rest:
My spirit faints
With equal zeal
To rise and dwell
Among thy saints.

3. O happy souls that pray,
Where God appoints to hear!
O happy men that pay
Their constant service there!
They praise Thee still;
And happy they
That love the way
To Zion’s hill!

4. They go from strength to strength,
Through this dark vale of tears,
Till each arrives at length,
Till each in heav'n appears:
O glorious seat,
When God, our King
Shall thither bring
Our willing feet!


5. To spend one sacred day
Where God and saints abide,
Affords diviner joy
Than thousand days beside:
Where God resorts,
I love it more
To keep the door
Than shine in courts.

6. God is our Sun and Shield,
Our Light and our defence;
With gifts His hands are fill'd,
We draw our blessings thence:
He shall bestow
On Jacob’s race
Peculiar grace
And glory too.

7. The Lord his people loves;
His hand no good withholds
From those his heart approves,
From pure and pious souls:
Thrice happy he,
O God of hosts,
Whose spirit trusts
Alone in Thee.

Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David, 1719 [Copied from Watts' The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian state and worship, from an online edition that was "hard-published" in 1801 by Hudson and Goodwin Company]

A fine minor tune set with this hymn is found in The B. F. Sacred Harp (2006 edition, popularly known as "the Cooper Book") on page 315. Across the page on 314 is a tune written in major.

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