Wednesday, November 21, 2007

His Voice

Cantor Colleague brought a new CD recording in to the office today for me to hear (he is most generous in this way and always shares the good stuff). I was reminded as I listened to it of what seems like a whole different lifetime ago, when I sang with this ensemble - it was a wonderful daylong stroll down memory lane for me.

And it was a blessing, too, as I heard this anthem ("His Voice" A teeny, weeny snippet of it is here.) which I've always loved and haven't actually heard in years. Though I haven't actually heard the song in a long time, I've thought about it often. In fact, its words were the very first thing that came to my mind when I first saw the face of Christ in my church's newly installed icon last spring.

His voice, as the sound of the dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at his feet,
The air is perfum'd with his breath.
His lips as a fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace,
From which their salvation the people shall know,
And bask in the smile of his face.

Love sits on his eyelids, and scatters delight
Through all the bright mansions on high;
Their faces the cherubim veil in his sight,
And tremble with fullness of joy.
He looks, and ten thousands of angels rejoice,
And myriads wait for his word;
He speaks, and eternity, fill'd with His voice,
Re-echoes the praise of her Lord.

His voice, as the sound of the dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at his feet,
The air is perfum'd with his breath.
O thou in whose presence my soul takes delight,
On whom in affliction I call,
My comfort by day, and my song in the night,
My hope, my salvation, my all.

(adapted by Larry L. Fleming from a text of Joseph Swain, which was adapted from Song of Solomon. The text of the entire poem is here.)

Surely Joseph Swain was thinking of this icon when he wrote this text.

No comments: