What is our God, or what his name

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General information

This is a poem by Isaac Watts, from Horae Lyricae, 1706, entitled God Supreme and Self-Sufficient.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. What is our God, or what his name,
Nor men can learn, nor angels teach;
He dwells concealed in radiant flame,
Where neither eyes nor thoughts can reach.

2. The spacious worlds of heavenly light,
Compared with him, how short they fall!
They are too dark, and he too bright:
Nothing are they, and God is all.


3. He spoke the wondrous word, and, lo!
Creation rose at his command :
Whirlwinds and seas their limits know,
Bound in the hollow of his hand.

4. There rests the earth, there roll the spheres.
There nature leans, and feels her prop:
But his own self-sufficience bears
The weight of his own glories up.


5. The tide of creatures ebbs and flows,
Measuring their changes by the moon :
No ebb his sea of glory knows;
His age is one eternal noon.

6. Then fly, my song, an endless round,.
The lofty tune let Michael raise:
All nature dwell upon the sound,
But we can ne'er fulfill the praise.

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