The Praises of God

(1954)

"The Praises of God" is the ninth song of Samuel Barber's song cycle Hermit Songs. The cycle was composed in 1953 and published in 1954. The premiere was sung by soprano Leontyne Price.

The poem is a translation of a text by an anonymous Irish monk who lived sometime between the 8th and 13th centuries. The English translation used by Barber is by W. H. Auden.

The Praises of God


How foolish the man who does not raise
His voice and praise with joyful words,
As he alone can, Heaven’s High King.
To whom the light birds with no soul but air,
All day, everywhere laudations sing.


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