From all that dwell below the skies

From all that dwell below the skies. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This is the second of three paraphrases of the very short Psalm 117, each under the heading, ‘Praise to God from all Nations’, first printed in The Psalms of David (1719). In each version, Watts slightly developed the theme, to fill out his two stanzas of 4 lines each. The original two-stanza text is given length and force by the introduction of ‘Alleluia’, twice after line 2 and five times after line 4 of each stanza, to fit the tune LASST UNS ERFREUEN, arranged by Vaughan Williams*. As Wesley Milgate points out in the ‘Companion’ to WOV, Songs for the People of God (1982), this paraphrase is now ‘as imposing as many a longer...

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