The sound of the harp ceaseth (Oliver Holden)

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Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-07-22).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 145 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: As written in 1800.

General Information

Title: The sound of the harp ceaseth
Composer: Oliver Holden

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: STB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1800 in Sacred Dirges, pp. 5-11

Description: Words adapted by Holden from various Bible passages, especially in Isaiah.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

The sound of the harp ceaseth:
The voice of mirth is no more.
Naught but sighs,
Naught but sighs and plaintive notes assail the ear.
O that my head were waters,
And mine eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night;
For death has come into our windows,
And has entered into our palaces,
To cut off the mighty man, the man of war,
The honorable man and the counselor.
The voice said cry;
And he said, what shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
And all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.
I clothe the heavens with blackness,
And make sackcloth their covering.
Behold He bringeth princes to nothing,
He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.
Thou turnest man to destruction,
And sayest, Return, ye children of men.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look upon the earth beneath;
For the heavens shall vanish away,
And the earth shall wax old like a garment,
And they that dwell therein shall die.
I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the Lord,
And the praises of the Lord,
According to all that He hath bestowed upon us.
For He said, Surely they are my children;
So He was their Savior.
In all their affliction, He was afflicted.
And the angel of His presence saved them.
In His love and in His pity He redeemed them in the days of old.
Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Neither the mighty man glory in his might;
Let not the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him that glorieth, glory in this:
That he understandeth and knoweth me,
That I am the lord which exercise
Loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
Then while we mingle dust to dust,
To One supremely good and wise,
Raise Hallelujahs, God is just,
And man most happy when he dies.