Rising Dawn (Oliver Holden)

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  • (Posted 2015-09-13)  CPDL #36776:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-09-13).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 57 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval note edition, as written in 1800. Two more pairs of stanzas from Belknap's compilation included.
  • (Posted 2015-09-13)  CPDL #36775:     
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-09-13).   Score information: 7 x 10 in (landscape), 1 page, 56 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). Two more pairs of stanzas from Belknap's compilation included.

General Information

Title: Rising Dawn
First Line: Behold the rising dawn appear
Composer: Oliver Holden
Lyricists: Isaac Watts, James Merrick and Jeremy Belknap

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: STB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.) (Belknap), Meter: 86. 86. D (C.M.D.) (Holden)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1800 in Plain Psalmody, p. 9, for three voices: Treble-Tenor-Bass
Description: Words adapted by Jeremy Belknap, 1795, from Isaac Watts' 1719 and James Merrick's 1765 paraphrases of Psalm 122; Belknap's version has six stanzas (see discussion in Music 1998, p. 156). Holden used stanzas one and two of Belknap's compilation in his composition.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Jeremy Belknap's Compilation (1795)
1. Behold the rising dawn appear,
Which calls our willing feet
To tread Thy courts, O God, and here
Our solemn vows repeat.

2. Fair Zion's gates are our delight,
Within her walls we stand;
And all her happy sons unite
In friendship's sacred bands.

3. We love the place where Zion's Lord
Is pleased to show His face;
Here He proclaims His holy word,
And here accepts our praise.

4. With reverend awe and godly fear,
We bow before Thy throne;
For Thou the fervent prayer wilt hear,
Through Thy beloved Son.

3. Peace be within this hallowed place,
And joy a constant guest;
With holy gifts and heavenly grace,
Be her attendants blest.

4. Our soul shall pray for Zion still,
While life or breath remains;
For here our friends and brethren dwell,
And here our Savior reigns.


Isaac Watts' Paraphrase of Psalm 122 (1719)
How did my heart rejoice to hear
My friends devoutly say,
"In Zion let us all appear,
And keep the solemn day!"

I love her gates, I love the road;
The church, adorned with grace,
Stands like a palace built for God,
To show his milder face.

Up to her courts with joys unknown
The holy tribes repair;
The Son of David holds his throne,
And sits in judgment there.

He hears our praises and complaints;
And while his awful voice
Divides the sinners from the saints,
We tremble and rejoice.

Peace be within this sacred place,
And joy a constant guest!
With holy gifts and heavenly grace
Be her attendants blest!

My soul shall pray for Zion still,
While life or breath remains;
There my best friends, my kindred dwell,
There God my Savior reigns.


James Merrick's Version of Psalm 122 (1765)
1. The festal morn, my God, is come,
That calls me to thy honored dome,
Thy preſence to adore:
My feet the summons shall attend,
With willing step thy courts ascend,
And tread the hallowed floor.

2. Even now to our transported eyes
Fair Zion's towers in prospect rise;
Within her gates we stand,
And, lost in wonder and delight,
Behold her happy Sons unite
In friendship's firmest band.

3. Hither from Judah's utmost end
The heaven-protected tribes ascend;
Their offerings hither bring;
Here, eager to attest their joy,
In hymns of praise their tongues employ,
And hail the immortal King.

4. By His command impelled, to her
contending crowds their cause refer;
While princes from her throne
With equal doom th'unerring law
Dispense, who boast their birth to draw
From Jesse's favored son.

5. Be Peace by each implored on thee,
O Salem, while with bended knee
To Jacob's God we pray:
How blest, who calls himself thy friend!
Success his labor shall attend,
And safety guard his way.

6. O may'st thou, free from hostile fear,
Nor the loud voice of tumult hear,
Nor war's wild wastes deplore:
May plenty nigh thee take her stand,
And in thy courts with lavish hand
Distribute all her store.

7. Seat of my friends and brethren, hail!
How can my tongue, O Salem, fail
To bless thy loved abode?
How cease the zeal that in me glows
Thy good to seek, whose walls enclose
The mansion of my God?