Hymn Information

PLEASE NOTE: Not all verses may be sung and words may vary in the particular hymn presentation.

Begin, My Soul
Words: John Ogilvie (1732-1813)
Music: Watt’s Lyre | Traditional American Folk Melody
1. Begin, my soul, th’ exalted lay;
Let each enraptur’d thought obey,
And praise th’ Almighty’s name:
Lo! heav’n and earth and seas and skies,
In one melodious concert rise,
To swell th’ inspiring theme.

2. Ye fields of light, celestial plains,
Where gay transporting beauty reigns,
Ye scenes divinely fair!
Your Maker’s wondrous power proclaim,
Tell how He formed your shining frame,
And breathed the fluid air.

3. Ye angels, catch the thrilling sound,
While all th’ adoring thrones around
His boundless mercy sing:
Let every list’ning saint above
Wake all the tuneful soul of love,
And touch the sweetest string.

4. Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir;
Thou dazzling orb of liquid fire,
The mighty chorus aid;
Soon as gray ev’ning gilds the plain,
Thou moon protract the melting strain,
And praise Him in the shade.

5. Thou heav’n of heav’ns, His vast abode,
Ye clouds proclaim your forming God,
Who called yon worlds from night;
“Ye shades dispel!” th’ Eternal said;
At once th’ involving darkness fled,
And nature sprung to light.

6. Whate’er a blooming world contains,
That wings the air, that skims the plains,
United praise bestow;
Ye dragons sound His awful name
To heav’n aloud; and roar acclaim,
Ye swelling deeps below.

7. Let every element rejoice,
Ye thunders, burst with awful voice,
To Him who bids you roll:
His praise in softer notes declare:
Each whisp’ring breeze of yielding air,
And breathe it to the soul.

8. To Him, ye graceful cedars bow;
Ye tow’ring mountains bending low,
Your great Creator own;
Tell, when affrighted nature shook,
How Sinai kindled at His look,
And trembled at His frown.

9. Ye flock that haunt the humble vale,
Ye insects flutt’ring on the gale,
In mutual concourse rise;
Crop the gay’s rose vermil bloom,
And waft its spoils, a sweet perfume,
In incense to the skies.

10. Wake, all ye mountain tribes, and sing;
Ye plumy warblers of the spring,
Harmonious anthems raise
To Him who shaped your finer mould,
Who tipped your glitt’ring wings with gold,
And tuned your voice to praise.

11. Let man, by nobler passions swayed,
The feeling heart, the judging head,
In heav’nly praise employ;
Spread His tremendous name around,
Till heav’n’s broad arch rings back the sound,
The gen’ral burst of joy.

12. Ye whom the charms of grandeur please,
Nursed in the downy lap of ease,
Fall prostrate at His throne;
Ye princes, rulers, all adore;
Praise Him, ye kings who make your pow’r
An image of His own.

13. Ye fair, by nature formed to move,
O praise th’ eternal source of love,
With youth’s enliv’ning fire;
Let age take up the tuneful lay,
Sigh His blessed name—then soar away,
And ask an angel’s lyre.