Latinised Hymns

The spacious firmament on high

The spacious firmament on high,
with all the blue ethereal sky,
and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
does his Creator's power display;
and publishes to every land
the work of an almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
the moon takes up the wondrous tale,
and nightly to the listening earth
repeats the story of her birth:
whilst all the stars that round her burn,
and all the planets in their turn,
confirm the tidings, as they roll,
and spread the truth from pole to pole.

What though in solemn silence all
move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice;
for ever singing as they shine,
"The hand that made us is divine."


En! Firmamenti spatia
et aetheris caerulea
caelique splendentes plagae
canunt qua sint origine;
dum sol declarat in diem
Factoris firmitudinem,
omnipotentis et manus
demonstrat in terris opus.

Ut lucem vesper opprimit,
sermonem luna suscipit
suamque, ut tellus audiat,
nativitatem praedicat;
et cuncta circum sidera,
seu fixa seu palantia,
testantur in cursu suo
sonantia ad polum polo.

At grave per silentium
volvuntur circum hunc globum
nec claris vox in orbibus
nec verus ullus est sonus:
sed audit nostra ratio
cantantia cum iubilo
divinitusque splendida
se facta confitentia.

MM 1–6.10.98