Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken is a familiar traditional hymn. The Text is from John Newton, 1725-1807 and the Music is from Croatian folk song; arr. by Franz Joseph Haydn. Haydn originally adapted this tune (Austria) as something like a “national anthem” and it was first performed for the emperor’s birthday, February 12, 1797. The text is actually a paraphrase of Psalm 87: “On the holy mount stands the city he founded; 87:2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 87:3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.”
1. Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
God, whose word cannot be broken,
formed thee for his own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded,
what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
thou mayst smile at all thy foes.
2. See, the streams of living waters,
springing from eternal love,
well supply thy sons and daughters,
and all fear of want remove.
Who can faint while such a river
ever will their thirst assuage?
Grace which like the Lord, the giver,
never fails from age to age.
3. Round each habitation hovering,
see the cloud and fire appear
for a glory and a covering,
showing that the Lord is near!
Thus deriving from our banner
light by night and shade by day,
safe we feed upon the manna
which God gives us when we pray.
4. Blest inhabitants of Zion,
washed in our Redeemer’s blood;
Jesus, whom our souls rely on,
makes us monarchs, priests to God.
Us, by his great love, he raises,
rulers over self to reign,
and as priests his solemn praises
we for thankful offering bring.