An Anthem for Ordination (Jacob French)

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  • (Posted 2018-05-27)  CPDL #49861:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2018-05-27).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 117 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: As written in 1802.

General Information

Title: An Anthem for Ordination
First Line: Descend from heaven, celestial Dove
Composer: Jacob French
Lyricist: Anonymous

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem   Meter: 886. 886

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1802 in Harmony of Harmony, pp. 125-130
Description: Words by an unknown author, no precedent found (Jones 1998).

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Descend from heaven, celestial Dove,
Inspire our souls with perfect love,
And tune our feeble lays.
Beam on our minds thy heavenly fire,
And teach our bosoms to aspire
To nobler songs of praise.

Long did the world in darkness groan,
How dim the light of reason shone,
Before the morning rose;
No calm content the soul could find;
Discord, that vulture of the mind,
Had banished soft repose.


Nor could the sages e'er explore
Eternity's untrodden shore,
No light their systems gave.
With steady care and anxious pain,
They strove to find, but all in vain,
The world beyond the grave.

But now a brighter scene appears,
Ye weeping mourners, dry your tears,
For error's course is run.
Now bright around you beams the day,
And death's dark shadows melt away
Before the gospel sun.


Behold, the Son of God descends;
Prostrate before him, ye heavens bend,
He leaves the shining spheres.
See, on mount Calvary he expires,
Ye sun and stars withdraw your fires,
And hide ye heavens in tears.

Behold him now, ascending bright,
With all the majesty of light,
In flaming glories crowned.
And now he treads the starry plain,
While shouting seraphs in their train
Roll the glad tidings round.


Long may our tongues with joy proclaim
The honors of his mighty name,
And songs of triumph raise.
Till lost in flames in ruin hurled,
Sinks the vast fabric of the world,
And trembling nature dies.