Lord, what is man (Henry Purcell)

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  • (Posted 2016-01-08)  CPDL #38089:          (Finale 2014)
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2016-01-08).   Score information: Letter, 9 pages, 539 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original key. For Soprano or Tenor. Realized keyboard part.

General Information

Title: A Divine Hymn Lord, what is man? Lost man?
Composer: Henry Purcell
Lyricist: William Fuller

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: Solo high
Genre: SacredAria

Language: English
Instruments: Basso continuo

First published: 1693 in Book 2 of Playford's Harmonia sacra

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Lord, what is man, lost man,
That Thou shouldst be so mindful of him?
That the Son of God forsook his glory, His abode.
To become a poor, tormented man!
The Deity was shrunk into a span,
And that for me, O wondrous love, for me.
Reveal ye glorious spirits, when you knew the way the Son of God took to renew lost man,
Your vacant places to supply;
Blest spirits tell which did excel, which was more prevalent,
your joy or your astonishment.
That man should be assum'd into the Deity,
That for a worm, a God should die.
Oh! oh! for a quill, drawn from your wing
To write the praises of eternal love;
Oh! oh! for a voice like yours, to sing
That anthem here, which once you sung above.