Retrospect (William Billings)
- Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-06-26). Score information: Letter, 9 pages, 210 kB Copyright: Public Domain
- Edition notes: As written in 1778. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
Description: First published in The Singing-Master's Assistant, 1778, pp. 81-90. Words adapted "from sundry Scriptures," apparently by Billings.
Original text and translations
Was not the day dark and gloomy.
The enemy said, Let us draw a line, even from York to Canada.
But praised be the Lord,
The snare is broken, and we are escaped. (Psalm 124:7)
Hark! Hear the adjuration:
Cursed be the man that keepeth back his sword. (Jeremiah 48:10)
Oh! Dismal! Oh! Horrible!
My bowels, I am pained at my very heart.
My heart maketh a noise within me.
For thou hast heard, O my soul,
The sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. (Jeremiah 4:19)
See my father, behold my brother,
Hear him groan, see him die.
O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet?
Put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest and be still. (Jeremiah 47:6)
Cause us to hear with joy Thy kind forgiving voice,
That so the bones which Thou hast broke
May with fresh strength rejoice. (Psalm 51:8)
Hark! My soul, catch the sound.
Hear and rejoice.
Beat your swords into plowshares,
And your spears into pruning hooks,
And learn war no more. (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3)
How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good tidings, that publisheth peace. (Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15)
Peace be on earth, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)
Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19:6)