Psalm 104

Words: William Kethe,  from  The Scottish Psalter of 1635

Music: Unable to initialize a MIDI player for your browser Old 104th, from the French Psalters of 1558-1561,
possibly by Louis Bourgeois
Note: This tune is a Doubled metre tune, so it spans two verses, or 8 lines. This makes it quite difficult to learn, because of the length and unaccustomed rhythm.   However, if you will give it a try you will find it well worthwhile. The tune builds in strength as it continues, to show how one's thoughts become more and more enthralled with God's majesty as you contemplate His greatness.
   1  My soul, Praise the Lord, speak good of his Name
      O Lord our great God, how dost thou appear!
         So passing in glory, that great is thy fame,
         Honor and Majesty in thee shine most clear. 
   2  With light as a robe thou hast thyself clad,
      Whereby all the earth thy greatness may see:
         The heav'ns in such sort thou also hast spread,
         That they to a curtain comparèd may be.

   3  His chamber-beams lie in the clouds full sure,
      Which as his chariots are made him to bear:
         And there with much swiftness his course doth endure,
         Upon the wings riding of winds in the air. 
   4  He maketh his spirits as heralds to go,
      And lightnings to serve we see also pressed;
         His will to accomplish they run to and fro,
         To save or consume things as seemeth him best. 

   5  He groundeth the earth so firmly and fast,
      That it once to move none shall have such pow'r
         The deep a fair cov'ring for it made thou hast,
         Which by its own nature the hills would devour. 
   6  But at thy rebuke the waters do flee,
      And so give due place thy word to obey:
         At thy voice of thunder so fearful they be,
         That in their great raging they haste soon away. 

   7  The mountains full high they then up ascend,
      If thou do but speak, thy word they fulfill:
         So likewise the valleys most quickly descend,
         Where thou them appointest, remain they do still: 
   8  Their bounds thou hast set how far they shall run,
      So that in their rage not that pass they can:
         For God hath appointed they shall not return
         The earth to destroy more, which made was for man. 

The Second Part. 

   9  He sendeth his springs to strong streams or lakes,
      Which run do full swift among the huge hills;
         Where both the wild asses their thirst often slakes,
         And beasts of the mountains thereof drink their fills. 
  10  By these pleasant springs and rivers most clear,
      The fowls of the air abide shall and dwell;
         Who moved by nature do hop here and there,
         Among the green branches their songs shall excel.

  11  The mountains to moist the clouds he doth use.
      The earth with his works is wholly replete:
         So as the brute cattle he doth not refuse,
         But grass doth provide them, and herb for man's meat. 
  12  Yea, bread, wine, and oil, he made for man's sake,
      His face to refresh, and heart to make strong:
         The cedars of Liban the great Lord did make,
         Which trees he doth nourish that grow up so long. 

  13  In these may birds build, and all make their nests;
      In fir-trees the storks remain and abide;
         The high hills are succors for wild goats to rest,
         Also the rock stony for conies to hide. 
  14  The moon then is set her seasons to run,
      The day from the night thereby to discern;
         And by the descending also of the sun,
         The cold from heat always thereby we do learn. 

  15  When darkness doth come by God's will and pow'r,
      Then creep forth do all the beasts of the wood
         The lions range roaring their prey to devour:
         But yet 'tis the Lord who giveth them food. 
  16  As soon as the sun is up they retire.
      To couch in their dens then are they full fain;
         That man to his work may, as right doth require,
         Till night come and call him to take rest again. 

The Third Part. 

  17  How sundry, O Lord, are all thy works found !
      With wisdom full great they are indeed wrought;
         So that the whole world of thy praise doth sound; 
         And as for thy riches, they pass all men's thought.
  18  So is the great sea, which is large and broad,
      Where creeping things swarm and beasts of each sort,
         There mighty ships sail, and some lie at road;
         The whale huge and monstrous there also doth sport.

  19  All things on tbee wait, thou dost them relieve,
      And thou in due time full well dost 'them feed.
         Now when it doth please thee the same for to give,
         They gather full gladly those things which they need:
  20  Thou open'st thy hand, and they find such grace,
      That they with good things are filled we see;
         But sore they are troubled if thou bide thy face,
         For if thou their breath take vile dust then they be.

  21  Again when thy Spirit from thee doth proceed,
      All things to appoint, and what shall ensue;
         Then are they created as thou hast decreed,
        And dost by tby goodness the dry earth renew.
  22  The praise of the Lord for ever shall last,
      Who may in his works by right well rejoice;
         His look can the earth make to tremble full fast,
         And likewise the mountains to smoke at his voice,

  23  To this Lord and God will I sing always;
      So long as I live my God praise will I
         Then an I most certain, my words shall him please, 
         I will rejoice in him, to him I will cry.
  24  The sinners, O Lord, consume in thine ire;
      Also the perverse, them root out with shame: 
         But as for my soul now let it still desire,
         And say with the faithful, Praise ye the Lord's Name.

Page Copyright 2001, Music for the Church of God
e-mail us at:
Page last modified on: 07/29/2004