A Song to David


1
O Thou, that sit'st upon a throne,
With harp of high majestic tone,
    To praise the King of kings;
And voice of heaven-ascending swell,
Which, while its deeper notes excel,
    Clear, as a clarion, rings:

2
To bless each valley, grove and coast,
And charm the cherubs to the post
    Of gratitude in throngs;
To keep the days on Zion's mount,
And send the year to his account,
    With dances and with songs:

3
O Servant of God's holiest charge,
The minister of praise at large,
    Which thou may'st now receive;
From thy blest mansion hail and hear,
From topmost eminence appear
    To this the wreath I weave.

4
Great, valiant, pious, good, and clean,
Sublime, contemplative, serene,
    Strong, constant, pleasant, wise!
Bright effluence of exceeding grace;
Best man! - the swiftest and the race,
    The peril, and the prize!

5
Great - from the lustre of his crown,
From Samuel's horn, and God's renown,
    Which is the people's voice;
For all the host, from rear to van,
Applauded and embraced the man--
    The man of God's own choice.

6
Valiant - the word, and up he rose;
The fight - he triumphed o'er the foes,
    Whom God's just laws abhor;
And, armed in gallant faith, he took
Against the boaster, from the brook,
    The weapons of the war.

7
Pious - magnificent and grand;
'Twas he the famous temple planned;
    (The seraph in his soul)
Foremost to give his Lord His dues,
Foremost to bless the welcome news,
    And foremost to condole.

8
Good - from Jehudah's genuine vein,
From God's best nature good in grain,
    His aspect and his heart;
To pity, to forgive, to save,
Witness En-gedi's conscious cave,
    And Shimei's blunted dart.

9
Clean - if perpetual prayer be pure,
And love, which could itself inure
    To fasting and to fear--
Clean in his gestures, hands, and feet,
To smite the lyre, the dance complete,
    To play the sword and spear.

10
Sublime - invention ever young,
Of vast conception, towering tongue,
    To God the eternal theme;
Notes from yon exaltations caught,
Unrivaled royalty of thought,
    O'er meaner strains supreme.

11
Contemplative - on God to fix
His musings, and above the six
    The Sabbath-day he blessed;
'Twas then his thoughts self-conquest pruned,
And heavenly melancholy tuned,
    To bless and bear the rest.

12
Serene - to sow the seeds of peace,
Remembering, when he watched the fleece,
    How sweetly Kidron purled--
To further knowledge, silence vice,
And plant plant perpetual paradise,
    When God had calmed the world.

13
Strong - in the Lord, Who could defy
Satan, and all his powers that lie
    In sempiternal night;
And hell, and horror, and despair
Were as the lion and the bear
    To his undaunted might.

14
Constant - in love to God The Truth,
Age, manhood, infancy, and youth--
    To Jonathan his friend
Constant, beyond the verge of death;
And Zilba, and Mephibosheth,
    His endless fame attend.

15
Pleasant - various as the year;
Man, soul, and angel, without peer,
    Priest, champion, sage, and boy;
In armor, or in ephod clad,
His pomp, his piety was glad;
    Majestic was his joy.

16
Wise - in recovery from his fall,
Whence rose his eminence o'er all,
    Of all the most reviled;
The light of Israel in his ways,
Wise are his precepts, prayer and praise,
    And counsel to his child.

17
His muse, bright angel of his verse,
Gives balm for all the thorns that pierce,
    For all the pangs that rage;
Blest light, still gaining on the gloom,
The more than Michal of his bloom,
    The Abishag of his age.

18
He sung of God - the mighty source
Of all things - the stupendous force
    On which all strength depends;
From Whose right arm, beneath whose eyes,
All period, power, and enterprise
    Commences, reigns, and ends.