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The Building Of The Temple (An Anthem Heard In Canterbury Cathedral)
[The Organ] O Lord our God, we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O Lord God of our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of Thy people, and prepare their heart unto Thee. And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments, and to build the palace for the which I have made provision. [Boys’ voices.] O come to the Palace of Life, Let us build it again. It was founded on terror and strife, It was laid in the curse of the womb, And pillared on toil and pain, And hung with veils of doom, And vaulted with the darkness of the tomb. [Men’s voices.] O Lord our God, we are sojourners here for a day, Strangers and sojourners, as all our fathers were: Our years on the earth are a shadow that fadeth away; Grant us light for our labour, and a time for prayer. [Boys.] But now with endless song, And joy fulfilling the Law; Of passion as pure as strong And pleasure undimmed of awe; With garners of wine and grain Laid up for the ages long, Let us build the Palace again And enter with endless song, Enter and dwell secure, forgetting the years of wrong. [Men.] O Lord our God, we are strangers and sojourners here, Our beginning was night, and our end is hid in Thee: Our labour on the earth is hope redeeming fear, In sorrow we build for the days we shall not see. [Boys.] Great is the name Of the strong and skilled, Lasting the fame Of them that build: The tongues of many nations Shall speak of our praise, And far generations Be glad for our days. [Men.] We are sojourners here as all our fathers were, As all our children shall be, forgetting and forgot: The fame of man is a murmur that passeth on the air, We perish indeed if Thou remember not. We are sojourners here as all our fathers were, Strangers travelling down to the land of death: There is neither work nor device nor knowledge there, O grant us might for our labour, and to rest in faith. [Boys.] In joy, in the joy of the light to be, [Men.] O Father of Lights, unvarying and true, [Boys.] Let us build the Palace of Life anew. [Men.] Let us build for the years we shall not see. [Boys.] Lofty of line and glorious of hue, With gold and pearl and with the cedar tree, [Men.] With silence due And with service free, [Boys.] Let us build it for ever in splendour new. [Men.] Let us build in hope and in sorrow, and rest in Thee.