Look down, O God, regard my cry (Joseph Stephenson)

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  • CPDL #22788:        (Sibelius 3)
Editor: Edmund Gooch (submitted 2010-12-06).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 35 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: The clefs in the source are treble, alto, tenor, and bass. The source has the first verse of the text underlaid, with the remaining eight verses printed after the music. For this performing edition, in addition to the first verse, the second, penultimate and last verses of the paraphrase have been underlaid editorially.
MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Look down, O God, regard my cry
Composer: Joseph Stephenson

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredHymn

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1758

Description: A setting of a hymn loosely paraphrasing Psalm 3, alluding to the victories of Frederick the Great. This setting by Joseph Stephenson was published on the final page (p12) of An Anthem Taken out of the 44 Chap. of Isaiah for the ever memorable glorious and compleat Victories obtained over the combined Army of the Prince de Soubise & the Army under Prince Charles Marshal Daun &c. By the Army commanded by HIS PRUSSIAN MAJESTY Nov. 5th & Decr 5th 1757.

The victories referred to occurred at Rossbach (on 5 Nov 1757) and at Leuthen (on 5 Dec 1757): Humphries and Smith state that the anthem and paraphrase were published in 1758 (p275, Charles Humphries & William C. Smith, Music Publishing in the British Isles, 2nd ed., Oxford: 1970).

The text of the paraphrase was was published on p615 of The London Magazine, or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer, of December 1757 (volume 26), where it is dated 'Oxfordshire, Dec. 2, 1757', indicating that it refers to the battle of Rossbach.

The anthem on Isaiah 44 and this paraphrase were republished as pages 27-37 and page 38 respectively of Stephenson's later collection The Musical Companion [1771].

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Look down, O God, regard my cry;
On thee my hope depend.
I'm close beset without ally:
Be thou my shield and friend.

Confed'rate kings and princes league,
On ev'ry side attack,
To perpetrate the black intrigue,
But thou canst drive 'em back.

Long did I bear their wink and nod,
In close cabals they cried,
There is no help from him in God,
His kingdom we'll divide.

Amid their armies' dreadful glare,
Thou gav'st me inward might,
Teaching my arms the art of war,
My fingers how to fight.

Though vet'ran troops my camp invest,
Expert in war's alarms,
Calmly I lay me down to rest
In thy protecting arms.

Nor will I fear their empty boasts,
Though thousands thousands join,
Since thou art still the God of Hosts,
And victory is thine.

Arise, O God, and plead my cause,
O save me by thy pow'r,
If e'er I reverence thy laws,
Guide this important hour.

'Tis done! they shudder with dismay,
My troops maintain their ground:
Lo! their imbattled lines give way,
And we are victors crown'd.

Success, ye kings, is not your gift,
To Heav'n it does belong;
The race not always to the swift,
Nor battle to the strong.