David: Vast Conception

Clean—if perpetual prayer be pure,
And love, which could itself inure
To fasting and to fear—
Clean in his gestures, hands, and feet,
To smite the lyre, the dance complete,
To play the sword and spear.

Of vast conception, towering tongue,
To God the eternal theme;
Notes from yon exaltations caught,
Unrivalled royalty of thought,
O’er meaner strains supreme.

Contemplative—on God to fix
His musings, and above the six
The Sabbath-day he blessed;
’Twas then his thoughts self-conquest pruned,
And heavenly melancholy tuned,
To bless and bear the rest.

Serene—to sow the seeds of peace,
Remembering, when he watched the fleece,
How sweetly Kidron purled—
To further knowledge, silence vice,
And plant perpetual paradise,
When God had calmed the world.

 

Hear/read EVERY PRECIOUS WORD
by Christopher Smart (c. 1760)

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