"The Hymn" by Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661 - 1720)
Praise Him, you Angels that before him bow,
You Creatures of Celestial frame,
Our Guests of old, our wakeful Guardians now,
Praise Him, and with like Zeal our Hearts enflame,
Transporting then our Praise to Seats from whence you came!
Praise Him, thou Sun in thy Meridian Force;
Exalt Him, all ye Stars and Light!
Praise Him, thou Moon in thy revolving Course,
Praise Him, thou gentler Guide of silent Night,
Which do's to solemn Praise, and serious Thoughts invite.
Praise Him, ye humid Vapours, which remain
Unfrozen by the sharper Air;
Praise Him, as you return in Show'rs again,
To bless the Earth and make her Pastures fair:
Praise Him, ye climbing Fires, the Emblems of our Pray'r.
Praise Him, ye Waters petrify'd above,
Ye shredded Clouds that fall in Snow,
Praise Him, for that you so divided move;
Ye Hailstones, that you do no larger grow.
Nor, in one solid Mass, oppress the World below.
Praise Him, ye soaring Fowls, still as you fly,
And on gay Plumes your Bodies raise;
You Insects, which in dark Recesses lie,
Altho' th' extremest Distances you try,
Be reconcil'd in This, to offer mutual Praise.
Praise Him, thou Earth, with thy unbounded Store;
Ye Depths which to the Center tend:
Praise Him ye Beasts which in the Forests roar;
Praise Him ye Serpents, tho' you downwards bend,
Who made your bruised Head our Ladder to ascend.
Praise Him, ye Men whom youthful Vigour warms;
Ye Children, hast'ning to your Prime;
Praise Him, ye Virgins of unsullied Charms,
With beauteous Lips becoming sacred Rhime:
You Aged, give Him Praise for your encrease of Time.
Praise Him, ye Monarchs in supreme Command,
By Anthems, like the Hebrew Kings;
Then with enlarged Zeal throughout the Land
Reform the Numbers, and reclaim the Strings,
Converting to His Praise, the most Harmonious Things.
Ye Senators presiding by our Choice,
And You Hereditary Peers!
Praise Him by Union, both in Heart and Voice;
Praise Him, who your agreeing Council steers,
Producing sweeter Sounds than the according Spheres.
Praise Him, ye native Altars of the Earth!
Ye Mountains of stupendious size!
Praise Him, ye Trees and Fruits which there have birth,
Praise Him, ye Flames that from their Bowels rise,
All fitted for the use of grateful Sacrifice.
He spake the Word; and from the Chaos rose
The Forms and Species of each Kind:
He spake the Word, which did their Law compose,
And all, with never ceasing Order join'd,
Till ruffl'd for our Sins by his chastising Wind.
But now, you Storms, that have your Fury spent,
As you his Dictates did obey,
Let now your loud and threatning Notes relent,
Tune all your Murmurs to a softer Key,
And bless that Gracious Hand, that did your Progress stay.
From my contemn'd Retreat, obscure and low,
As Grots from when the Winds disperse,
May this His Praise as far extended flow;
And if that future Times shall read my Verse,
Tho' worthless in it self, let them his Praise rehearse.