Bible Songs

Song Cycle by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924)

Word count: 882

1. A song of Freedom [sung text checked 1 time]

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion,
        Then were we like to those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
        and our tongues with joy.
        Then said they among the heathen,
        "The Lord has done great things for them."
Yea, the Lord hath done great things for us already,
        Whereof we rejoice.

Turn again our captivity, O Lord,
        As the rivers in the South.
They that sow in tears,
        Shall reap in joy!
He that goeth forth and weepeth,
        Bearing precious seed,
        Shall doubtless come again with joy,
        and bring his sheaves with him.

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Researcher for this text: James B. Robinson

2. A song of trust [sung text checked 1 time]

1 I [will]1 lift up mine eyes [unto]2 the hills,
  from whence cometh my help.
2 My help [cometh]3 from the LORD,
  [which]4 made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
  [he]5 that keepeth thee [will]1 not [slumber]6.
4 [Behold,]7 he that keepeth Israel
  shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The [LORD]8 is thy keeper:
  [the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, 
  nor the moon by night.]9
7 The LORD shall preserve thee from [all]7 evil: 
  [he shall]10 preserve thy soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in 
  from this time [forth, and even for evermore]11.

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1 Steele: "shall"
2 Steele: "to"
3 Howells, Stanford: "cometh even"
4 Howells, Stanford: "who hath"; Steele: "who"
5 Howells, Stanford: "and he"
6 Howells, Stanford, Steele: "sleep"
7 omitted by Steele
8 Howells, Stanford: "LORD himself"
9 Howells, Stanford: "The Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand; / So that the sun shall not burn thee by day, neither the moon by night."
10 Howells, Stanford: "Yea, it is even He that shall"
11 Howells, Stanford: "forth for evermore."

Researcher for this text: Ivo Zandhuis

3. A song of Hope [sung text checked 1 time]

Out of the deep have I called unto Thee, O Lord.
Lord, Hear my voice, 
O, let Thine ears consider well 
the voice of my complaint.
If Thou Lord, will be extreme 
to mark what is done amis:
O Lord, who may abide it?
For there is mercy with Thee, 
therefore shalt Thou be feared.
I look for the Lord; 
my soul doth wait for Him; 
in his word is my trust.
[My soul looketh for the Lord, 
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Let Israel hope in the Lord;]1
for with the Lord there is mercy,
and with Him is plentious redemption;
And He shall redeem Israel from all his sins.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Rutter:
My soul fleeth unto the Lord:
before the morning watch, I say, before the morning watch.
O Israel, trust in the Lord,

Researcher for this text: James B. Robinson

4. A song of Peace [sung text checked 1 time]

There shall come forth a rod
        out of the stem of Jessie,
        and a branch shall grow out of his roots;
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
        the spirit of wisdom, and understanding,
        the spirit of counsel and might,
        the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord:

And he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes,
        Neither reprove after the hearing of his ears;
And with rightness shall he judge the poor,
        and reprove with equity the meek of the earth;
And He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth,
        and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,
        and faithfulness the girdle of his veins.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb.
        And the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together,
        and a little child shall lead them.
They shall not hurt nor destroy
        in all my holy mountain:
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
        as the waters cover the earth.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jessie
        which shall stand for ensign unto the people
        and his rest shall be glorius.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: James B. Robinson

5. A song of Battle [sung text checked 1 time]

If the Lord Himself had not been on our side,
        now may Israel say:
If the Lord Himself had not been on our side,
        when men rose up against us;
Then they had swallowed us up alive,
        when their wrath was kindled against us.
Then the waters had overwhelmed us,
        The stream had gone over our soul:
Then the proud waters had gone even over our soul.

Blessed be the Lord,
        who hath not given us
        as a prey unto their teeth.
Our soul is escaped even as a bird
        From the snare of the fowlers;
The snare is broken,
        and we are delivered.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
        who made heaven and earth.

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Researcher for this text: James B. Robinson

6. A song of Wisdom [sung text checked 1 time]

I came forth from the mouth of the most high,
        and covered the earth as a mist;
I dwelt in high places,
        and my throne is in the pillar of the cloud.

Alone I compased the circuit of heav'n,
        and walked in the depth of the abyss
In the waves of the sea and in all the earth
        and in every people and nation,
        I got a possession; with all these I sought rest:
And I took root in a people that was glorified,
        In the portion of the Lord's own inheritance.

I was exalted like a ceedar in Libanus,
        And as a cypress on the mountains of Hermon:
I was exalted like a palm tree on the sea shore,
        And as a fair olive tree in the plain.

And my branches are branches of glory and grace,
        And my flow'rs are the fruit of glory and riches.
Come unto me, Ye that are desirous of me
        and be ye filled with my fruits.

And I came out as a stream from a river,
        I said I will water my garden,
        And will water abundantly my garden bed,
And lo, my stream became a river
        and my river became the sea,
For my thoughts are filled from the sea
        and my counsels from the great deep.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: James B. Robinson