Coeli enarrant

The heavens and the firmament

Author: Thomas Sternhold
Published in 2 hymnals

Full Text

1 The heav'ns and firmament on high
do wondrously declare
God's glory and omnipotence,
his works and what they are.

2 The wondrous works of God appear
by every day's success,
The nights likewise which their race run
the selfsame thing express.

3 There is no language, tongue, or speech,
where their sound is not heard,
In all the earth and coasts thereof
their knowledge is conferred.

4 In them the Lord made for the sun
a place of great renown,
who like a bridegroom ready trimmed
comes from his chamber down:

5 And as a valiant champion,
who would to honor rise,
With joy doth haste to take in hand
some noble enterprise.

6 And all the sky from end to end
he compasseth about;
Nothing can hide if from his heat,
but he will find it out.

7 The Lord's commands are righteous, and
rejoice the heart likewise;
His precepts are most pure, and do
give light unto the eyes.

8 The fear of God is excellent,
and ever doth endure;
The judgments of the Lord also,
most righteous are and pure;

9 And more to be desirèd are
than much fine gold always;
The honey and the honey-comb
are not so sweet as they.

10 By them thy servant is forewarned
to have God in regard;
And in performance of the same
there shall be great reward.

11 But, Lord, what earthly man doth know
the errors of his life?
Then cleanse me from my secret sins,
which are in me most rife:

12 And keep me, that presumptuous sins
prevail not over me;
And so shall I be innocent,
and great offences flee.

13 Accept my mouth and heart also,
my words and thoughts each one;
For my Redeemer and my strength,
O Lord, thou art alone.

Source: The whole book of Psalms: collected into English metre #XIX

Author: Thomas Sternhold

Thomas Sternhold was Groom of the Robes to Henry VIII and Edward VI. With Hopkins, he produced the first English version of the Psalms before alluded to. He completed fifty-one; Hopkins and others composed the remainder. He died in 1549. Thirty-seven of his psalms were edited and published after his death, by his friend Hopkins. The work is entitled "All such Psalms of David as Thomas Sternhold, late Groome of the King's Majestye's Robes, did in his Lyfetime drawe into Englyshe Metre." Of the version annexed to the Prayer Book, Montgomery says: "The merit of faithful adherence to the original has been claimed for this version, and need not to be denied, but it is the resemblance which the dead bear to the living." Wood, in his "Athe… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The heavens and the firmament
Title: Coeli enarrant
Author: Thomas Sternhold