Who dares attempt the eternal name

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General information

This is a poem by Isaac Watts, entitled Worshiping With Fear, published in Horae Lyricae in 1706.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. Who dares attempt the eternal name
With notes of mortal sound?
Dangers and glories guard the theme,
And spread despair around.

2. Destruction waits to obey His frown,
And heaven attends His smile:
A wreath of lightning arms His crown,
But love adorns it still.

3. Celestial King, our spirits lie
Trembling beneath Thy feet,
And wish, and cart a longing eye,
To reach Thy lofty seat.


4. When shall we see the great unknown,
And in Thy presence stand?
Reveal the splendors of Thy throne,
But shield us with Thy hand.

5. In Thee what endless wonders meet!
What various glory shines!
The crossing rays too fiercely beat
Upon our fainting minds.

6. Angels are lost in sweet surprise
If Thou unveil thy grace,
And humble awe runs through the skies
When wrath arrays Thy face.


7. When mercy joins with majesty
To spread their beams abroad,
Not all their fairest minds on high
Are shadows of a God.

8. Thy works the strongest seraph sings
In a too feeble strain,
And labors hard on all his strings
To reach Thy thoughts in vain.

9. Created powers how weak they be!
How short our praises fall!
So much akin to nothing we,
And thou the eternal all.

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