Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
Te Deum Laudamus
Version of the “American Episcopal Church Prayer-Book” 1

WE praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud; the Heavens, and all the powers therein.
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;        5
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of thy Glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee;        10
The Father of an infinite Majesty;
Thine adorable, true, and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.        15
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst humble thyself to be born of a Virgin.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the Glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.        20
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints, in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine heritage.
Govern them, and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name ever, world without end.        25
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy be upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.
Note 1. This venerable hymn, familiar as a part of the morning service in the Roman Catholic and Protestant Episcopal Churches, and on special occasions in many Protestant Churches, has usually been ascribed to the great St. Ambrose of Milan and St. Augustine, his greater convert, in the year 387 A.D. But, like other productions of mighty influence, it was doubtless a growth. Portions of it appear in the writings of St. Cyprian (252 A.D.) and others in still earlier liturgical forms of the Greek Church in Alexandria during the century previous. It is thus probably the earliest, as it is certainly the most universal and famous, of Christian hymns. It was translated from the Latin into English in 1549 for the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, which assumed its present form in 1660—during that wonderful era which gave us the English Bible, with its unapproached majesty and music of language. [back]

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