As birds their infant brood protect

Author: William Cowper
Published in 27 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 As birds their infant brood protect
And spread their wings to shelter them;
Thus saith the Lord to his elect,
"So shall I guard Jerusalem."

2 And what then is Jerusalem,
This darling object of his care?
Where is its worth in God's esteem?
Who built it?--who inhabits there?

3 Jehovah founded it in blood,
The blood of his incarnate Son;
There dwell the saints, once foes to God
The sinners whom he calls his own.

4 There, though besieged on every side,
Yet much beloved and guarded well;
From age to age they have defied
The utmost force of earth and hell.

5 Let earth repent, and hell despair,
This city hath a sure defense;
Her name is called "The Lord is there,"
And who has power to drive them thence.

A Selection of Hymns, from Various Authors, Supplementary for the Use of Christians. 1st ed., 1816

Author: William Cowper

Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25,1800. The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hastin… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: As birds their infant brood protect
Title: Jehovah-Shammah
Author: William Cowper
Language: English


As birds their infant brood protect. W. Cowper. [Divine Protection.] Appeared in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. i. No. 72, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines. It is based on Ezek. xlviii. 35. It is found in several of the older hymnals, including Cotterill’s, 1810 to 1819, Bickersteth’s, 1833, and others, but its modern use is confined mainly to America.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #241
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)