The Spacious Firmament on High

Words: Psalm 19:1-6 Joseph Addison, 1712

Music:    "Creation"  Franz Joseph Haydn, 1798
(If your computer has sound but the music is not playing,  click this)

 1  The spacious firmament on high,
      With all the blue ethereal sky,
    And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
       Their great Original proclaim.
    Th'unwearied sun, from day to day,
       Does his Creator's power display;
    And publishes to every land
       The work of an almighty hand. 

 2  Soon as the evening shades prevail,
       The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
    And nightly to the listening earth
       Repeats the story of her birth: 
    Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
       And all the planets in their turn,
    Confirm the tidings as they roll,
       And spread the truth from pole to pole. 

 3  What though in solemn silence all
       Move round this dark terrestrial ball;
    What though no real voice or sound
       Amidst their radiant orbs be found; 
    In reason's ear they all rejoice,
       And utter forth a glorious voice,
    For ever singing as they shine,
       "The hand that made us is divine." 

Note for singing: Hayden's tune here is "ornamented" in the style of his period. If you aren't familiar with this song, or this style, it might be a good idea to listen through for a few verses to see how the words fit--and they do fit, beautifully, once you get the hang of it. 
   (Hint: In the first verse, on the first line, there are "ornaments" on the last syllable of "firmament" and the word "on", and on "high". On the second line of that verse, the word "all" is ornamented. etc.)

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Page last modified on: 07/29/2004