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Bless thou the Lord,
oh my soul, bless thou the Lord!
Nature, glorious nature!
arise thou from the sleep of night,
and bless and magnify the great name
of thy merciful Creator!
Ye little birds,
raise your voices
in the universal praise!
The works of Thy hand, oh God,
animate and inanimate nature,
shall glorify Thy name.
Night has withdrawn
her sombre yet refreshing veil,
and light and gladness
Thou hast graciously permitted again
And whether the sun shines forth
in radiant splendour,
illumining all things with its glorious light;
or the gentle, refreshing rain falls mercifully
to moisten the parched and arid ground;
or the mighty wind cometh forth at Thy nod,
to remove all impurities and imperfections
from the air we breathe;
still will nature shoot forth Thy glory, oh mighty God;
still will Thy omnipotent hand be blessed
for the mercy it poureth upon us below.
All speak of Thy mercy —
are Thy instruments, oh God,
and as such do they ever bring
mercy and goodness with them.
Oh, how my eager soul longs
to pour forth a hymn of thanksgiving
to Thee, for blessings, oh Lord,
Thou hast vouchsafed me,
greater far than many of my fellow creatures!
Thou hast bestowed on me kind parents,
while many are desolate orphans.
Thou hast given me brothers,
and many stand alone;
and food and shelter
from the scorching sun,
or falling rain,
or howling wind,
and many beg from door to door
for a scanty subsistence,
or starve within their miserable homes,
unpitied and unsuccoured.
Oh, Lord my God,
what have I done to merit greater mercies,
greater blessings, than they;
and yet my sinful heart repines and murmurs,
if my wishes are not gratified,
my inordinate desires all fulfilled.
Oh let not the remembrance
of Thy unnumbered mercies
pass from my mind.
Oh let me ever remember all I owe to Thee.
Bestow on me the gift of gratitude,
that will enable me to utter forth Thy praises,
sing aloud Thy glory.
Another night hath passed away,
and again I wake in health,
and my senses lend their aid
to give enjoyment.
Oh, when I think on those
whose eyes are ever closed
on Thy glorious works,
who can never behold
or trace Thy footsteps, oh God,
on the fertile earth,
on the stupendous mountains,
in the roaring ocean,
in the far-stretching heavens,
who cannot see Thy hand
in the smallest flower
that decks the emerald sod,
when I think on them,
how can I praise and glorify Thy name enough,
for granting me a lot so far superior?
I can see,
I can trace Thy wondrous hand,
oh blessed be Thy name, oh Lord,
praised and glorified and magnified,
for such abundant mercy.
And when I think of those
bereft of speech and hearing,
who can never join in raising their voice
to bless Thy name,
who can never give vent to their feelings
in words of joy and thanksgiving,
who are debarred from hearing the voice
of those they love,
of listening to the sweet, mild converse
of their parents, sisters, friends,
who can never feel their souls glow
when a sacred strain of music soundeth,
hallowing and blessing Thee,
and I can speak and hear
while they are plunged in endless silence,
oh Lord my God, all-merciful, almighty,
how can I render thanks sufficiently to Thee,
for these unnumbered blessings;
how can my feeble voice utter them aloud,
when the gratitude that filleth my heart
Oh, Thou art my God,
and I will praise Thee,
and exalt Thee for ever,
with my whole soul,
and my whole heart,
and I will give thanks unto Thee, oh God,
for Thou art good,
and Thy mercy endureth for ever!
Thou hast given me blessings
I deserve not.
Thou hast given me mercies
of which I am unworthy;
far above many of my fellow creatures
hast Thou blessed me;
oh let me still feel
how unworthy I am
of such goodness,
and each morning
bless and glorify Thy name.
Blessed art Thou,
oh Lord, my God,
now and for ever and evermore.
Praise the Lord!
“Morning hymn (Bless thou the Lord)” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Essays and Miscellanies (1853), in the section “Sacred Communings,” pp. 181-183. In the UK edition of Sacred Communings (1853) the prayer appears with the incipit “Bless ye the Lord” with other small variations of spelling and punctuation on pages 105-107.
“Morning Hymn (Bless thou the Lord), by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1830s)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.
Works of related interest:
אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם | Before the Glorious Orbs of Light, a paraliturgical adaptation of Adon Olam by David Nunes Carvalho (ca. 1826)
Almighty God Whose Will Alone (Genesis 16:13), a hymn on Omniscience by Penina Moïse (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)