Thomas Linley (1756-1778)
The Song of Moses
No 1, Chorus: Praise be to God, and God alone (tenor), (bass) Holst Singers
Praise be to God, and God alone,
Who hath his pow’r with Glory shewn.
The warrior horse behold
With his proud rider thrown,
And chariots, men, and arms, and steeds In ’whelming billows roll’d.
No 2, Duet: Jehovah ever be my song (soprano), (soprano)
Jehovah ever be my song
In mercy great, in terror strong.
His arm alone does conquest bring;
His name alone shall wake the string.
He is our God, we will prepare his seat;
Our father’s God, our song shall speak him great.
No 3, Accompanied recitative: No force can stand (soprano)
No force can stand our God before,
For he’s the God of Hosts whom we adore.
No 4, Air – Chorus: O Israel turn – The wave hath closed (soprano), Holst Singers
O Israel turn, cast we our eyes behind;
What of unpeopled Egypt can we find?
A nameless, undistinguished heap
That was a king, that was an host
With leaders bold, their country’s boast,
Now plunged in the remorseless deep
The wave hath closed above each warlike head,
Sunk like a lifeless stone, vanished, and dead.
No 5, Air: Thy arm, O Lord of Hosts (soprano)
Thy arm, O Lord of Hosts,
Is glorious in its power.
Thy arm all Israel boasts
The triumph of this hour.
Thy arm such ruin poured,
No force thy foes could shield;
Thy wrath their ranks devoured
As flames the stubble field.
No 6, Recitative: Lo, the waves thy breath obey (soprano)
Lo, the waves thy breath obey,
The deep has heard thy voice.
From far and wide the floods begin
To press on every side.
The waves on either hand
In solid mountains stand,
And in the heart of all the sea
The depths congealed abide.
No 7, Chorus: The sea is before them Holst Singers
The sea is before them; they’re caught in the toil.
I’ll pursue, I’ll o’ertake, and distribute the spoil.
I’ll satiate my lust and heighten my joy;
My sword shall be drawn, and my hand shall destroy.
No 8, Accompanied recitative: Thus the foe with haughty pride (soprano)
Thus the foe with haughty pride—
But, as thy winds arose,
The floods their host enclose.
To thee, so late defied,
In vain for help they cried.
They sank like lead at once, and died.
No 9, Air: 'Mong the Gods by men adored (bass)
’Mong the Gods by men adored,
Who is like to thee,
O Lord, In majesty of thunder?
Who in glory to be feared?
Who in praise to be revered?
Thy works are filled with wonder.
No 10, Accompanied recitative: Thou stretchest out thy hand (soprano)
Thou stretchest out thy hand with mighty power—
Instant, the earth her bosom clove.
There, where they sank, they found a grave
Whence to return—ah nevermore!
No 11, Air: Thou, as thy mercy had decreed (soprano)
Thou, as thy mercy had decreed,
Hast thy redeemed people freed.
They, guided by thy mighty hand,
With faith behold the promised land.
No 12, Recitative: Thither, what power (soprano)
Thither, what power shall our march withstand?
This wonder shall before us go,
And Palestine be filled with woe.
The nations ’round shall hear with dread,
The sons of Edom hang their heads,
And fear shall seize on Moab’s mighty land.
No 13, Chorus: All Canaan's heathen race Holst Singers
All Canaan’s heathen race shall melt away,
By thy resistless arm to silence awed,
Nor dare against the Israel of God
Lift their unhallowed swords his course to stay.
No 14, Duet: Thither thy people, Lord (soprano), (soprano)
Thither thy people, Lord, shalt thou direct,
Plant with thy love, and with thy power protect.
And on that holy hill by thee prepared
Thy law shall honoured be, thy name revered.
No 15, Chorus: To ages shalt thou stretch thy sway Holst Singers
To ages shalt thou stretch thy sway,
Thy reign be one eternal day,
Who mad’st the sea all Egypt’s tomb,
While safe within its watery womb
Thou bad’st thine Israel take his dry-shod way.