“Lords Coeval With Creation”

Lords coëval with creation,
Seraph, Cherub, Throne and Power,
Princedom, Virtue, Domination,
Hail the long-awaited hour!
Bruised in head, with broken pinion,
Trembling for his old dominion,
See the ancient dragon cower!
For the Prince of Heaven has risen,
Victor, from his shattered prison.

Loudly roaring from the regions
Where no sunbeam e’er was shed,
Rise and dance, ye ransomed legions
Of the cold and countless dead!
Gates of adamant are broken,
Words of conquering power are spoken
Through the God who died and bled:
Hell lies vacant, spoiled and cheated,
By the Lord of life defeated.

Bear, behemoth, bustard, camel,
Warthog, wombat, kangaroo,
Insect, reptile, fish and mammal,
Tree, flower, grass, and lichen too,
Rise and romp and ramp, awaking,
For the age-old curse is breaking.
All things shall be made anew;
Nature’s rich rejuvenation
Follows on Man’s liberation.

Eve’s and Adam’s son and daughter,
Sinful, weary, twisted, mired,
Pale with terror, thinned with slaughter,
Robbed of all your hearts desired,
Look! Rejoice! One born of woman,
Flesh and blood and bones all human,
One who wept and could be tired,
Risen from vilest death, has given
All who will the hope of Heaven.

C. S. Lewis

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2 Responses to “Lords Coeval With Creation”

  1. This is fantastic. I google quoted some of the lyrics and found this interesting tidbit:

    “The nine-line stanza does not fit any existing hymn tune, but it was given its first performance to music composed by Magdalene graduate Peter Relph at Evensong in the College Chapel on 9 June 2016.“

    https://magdlibs.com/2016/06/24/c-s-lewis/amp/

    Someone should sing it as a pre-communion hymn. Sounds very Wesleyan. It would be especially fun to sing “Bear, behemoth, bustard, camel,
    Warthog, wombat, kangaroo…” Words that don’t show up at church much! And then if anyone asks you could say, “oh yeah, that’s by C.S. Lewis.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Thank you for this, with which I had not (so far as I recall) yet caught up – and, markchenoweth1, for the link with all its details so enjoyably presented!

    Our Chaplaincy choir just sang whoever’s 1994 Kevin Mayhew adaptation of stanzas 1-4 of Robert Campbell’s metrical translation of ‘Chorus novae Ierusalem’ as ‘Ye choirs of new Jerusalem’ at Evensong this past Sunday – and with that fresh in mind, I suspect Lewis was deliberately, and exuberantly varying the original (among other things?). (I wonder if the nine-line stanzas, like the first three lines, play with the traditional angelic orders? – and give therewith an appreciative nod to Williams’s The Place of the Lion?)

    I see Peter Relph has a website with featured compositions to listen to – but, sadly, I cannot immediately find there (or on YouTube) any recording of his setting of this… (Perhaps a matter of copyright where recording and broadcasting it are concerned? – if so, I can’t help thinking it would be fine if the Estate/CS Lewis Pte Ltd could work something out by which it could be more easily heard…)

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