Sunday, 3 November 2013

And one by his Norwegian counterpart, Petter Dass (1647-1707)

The Second Song
Hallowed be Thy Name
To be sung to its own tune

Oh Mighty LORD! Thy precious name and glory
Throughout the world are its most famous story,
And every soul, and every thrall,
And mortals all shall tell withal
                  Thy glory.

Proper it is to hear, a thing of beauty,
That lips may call the praise of GOD their duty;
Th’abyss that glowers, the green-clad bowers
For Thy great power at every hour
                  Salute Thee.

And if folk shamefully should fail to render
All praise to GOD, forget His mercies tender,
Yet will the stones, and e’en dry bones
His pure name throne, at once make known
                  His splendour.

Yea, ere GOD all his glory shall surrender
Shall fearful whale and ocean homage render,
As ling and cod, so too their scrod,
Saithe by the squad more praise to God

For GOD is GOD, though earth no fruits were giving,
And GOD is GOD, though mankind ceased from living,
Though folk should die, in heaven high
Hosts multiply, and cymbals ply

Should e’er the LORD lack splendour or lack servants?
Behold, ten thousand keep a strict observance.
Ten thousand times ten thousand times
Are all their rhymes and sweetest chimes
                  Most fervent.

For at GOD’s name shall every knee be bending,
Both those who in high heaven life are spending
And those on earth, in south and north,
Likewise those cursed with trials henceforth

High mountain and deep dale shall both expire,
The end of heav’n and earth too be entire,
Each rockface sheer shall disappear,
But prayers sincere to a thousand ears

And should the old be stiff and prone to sleeping,
Shall children in the womb GOD’s praise be keeping;
The dumb, the game, the blind, the lame
All do the same, so too those maimed
                  Or creeping.

I when myself from top to toe reviewing,
Find no limb’s claim can merit my eschewing,
Though fine they’re found as silken gown
All shall bow down, and sighs around
                  Be strewing.

But, oh mankind, can you believe this wholly?
Full due is giv’n to keeping GOD’s name holy,
If farmer, priest, on praise did feast
And then just ceased? Not in the least,
                  Not solely.

On earth we can’t the LORD’s name be revering
If we just nod and murmur words so cheering;
No, while alive, where’er you strive,
GOD’s word let shrive, and earthly lives
                  Be steering.

Make sure your light burns brightly and uncovered
That man your zeal and virtue can discover,
No lust embrace, but love and grace,
Devout and chaste until life’s space
                  Is over.

Hate all GOD in His word is also hating,
The excess that your life is vitiating,
Shun sin and flaws, obey GOD’s laws,
Make virtue yours, make zeal your cause

But should you make sin’s broad path your endeavour,
And without shame yourself from virtue sever,
Then you are base, GOD’s name disgrace
His spirit chase, His realm deface
                  For ever.

But LORD! Prevent this plight that makes us quaver!
All that’s ungodly cause in us to waver!
That with full might we e’er may fight,
When time is right, with Thee delight
                  May savour!

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