Verse > Anthologies > Henry Charles Beeching, ed. > Lyra Sacra
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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919).  Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse.  1903.
 
Morning Hymn
By John Milton (1608–1674)
 
THESE 1 are Thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty, Thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; Thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sitt’st above these heavens
To us invisible, or dimly seen        5
In these Thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels; for ye behold Him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,        10
Circle His throne rejoicing; ye in Heaven.
On Earth join, all ye creatures, to extol
Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end.
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,        15
Sure pledge of day, that crown’st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praise Him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul,
Acknowledge Him thy greater; sound His praise        20
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb’st,
And when high noon hast gained, and when thou fall’st.
Moon, that now meet’st the orient sun, now fli’st
With the fixed Stars, fixed in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wandering Fires, that move        25
In mystic dance not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness called up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of Nature’s womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix        30
And nourish all things, let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye Mists and Exhalations, that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or grey,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,        35
In honour to the world’s great Author rise;
Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance His praise.
His praise, ye Winds, that from four quarters blow,        40
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune His praise.
Join voices, all ye living Souls. Ye Birds,        45
That singing up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes His praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,        50
To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught His praise.
Hail, universal Lord, be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed,        55
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark!
 
Note 1. “Morning Hymn” is from “Paradise Lost,” v. 153. It may be compared Thomson’s “Hymn” on the Seasons, and Coleridge’s “Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni,” both much inferior compositions. [back]
 
 
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