Poem by 17th Century Unitarian minister and poet John Mason.
This is based on my original setting of the poem but with more harmonic richness.
(The original (simpler) version (with my performance) is available
The sound sample for this version is an electronic preview, but I hope it will be performed soon.
The musical style is reminiscent of the 19th century although the piano
part does go into 20th century style syncopation at times.
How shall I sing that majesty
Which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
Sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
Thy throne, O God most high;
Ten thousand times ten thousand sound
Thy praise; but who am I?
Thy brightness unto them appears,
Whilst I thy footsteps trace;
A sound of God comes to my ears,
But they behold thy face.
They sing because Thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
For where heaven is but once begun
There alleluyas be.
Enlighten with faith’s light my heart,
Inflame it with love’s fire;
Then shall I sing and bear a part
With that celestial choir.
I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
With all my fire and light;
Yet when Thou dost accept their gold,
Lord, treasure up my mite.
How great a being, Lord, is thine,
Which doth all beings keep!
Thy knowledge is the only line to sound so vast a deep.
Thou art a sea without a shore,
A sun without a sphere;
Thy time is now and evermore,
Thy place is everywhere.