Sunday, 30 November 2008

Hills of the North, rejoice


Well, here is the view from my new bedroom window (taken during the construction stage at the end of July). I look across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle - to the hills of the north. Hence the new title for my blog!

Hills of the North, rejoice;
River and mountain spring,
Hark to the advent voice;
Valley and lowland, sing;
Though absent long, your Lord is nigh;
He judgment brings and victory.

Isles of the southern seas,
Deep in your coral caves
Pent be each warring breeze,
Lulled be your restless waves:
He comes to reign with boundless sway,
And makes your wastes His great highway.

Lands of the East, awake,
Soon shall your sons be free;
The sleep of ages break,
And rise to liberty.
On your far hills, long cold and grey,
Has dawned the everlasting day.

Shores of the utmost West,
Ye that have waited long,
Unvisited, unblest,
Break forth to swelling song;
High raise the note, that Jesus died,
Yet lives and reigns, the Crucified.

Shout, while ye journey home;
Songs be in every mouth;
Lo, from the North we come,
From East, and West, and South.
City of God, the bond are free,
We come to live and reign in thee!

These splendid words by C E Oakley (1832-65) are usually sung to the tune 'Little Cornard' by Martin Shaw (1875-1958).

During the weekdays of Advent (except on Christmas Eve) we shall be following the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. We shall start tomorrow with the First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden.


Sharon said...

Why did you choose the Scottish Highlands as your place of retirement?

Peter Simpson said...

I have had a timeshare property in the Scottish Highlands for the past five years, and really fell in love with the area. I suppose I was looking for something very different to London where I have worked for the past 18 years. I wanted to feel a little closer to nature and have more sense of the seasons of the year. Also, property prices are quite reasonable up here.

Michael Clifton said...

But the weather. Lets have some photos now !! It is cold enough down here, but up where you are ??
Anyway hope you are enjoying things.

Peter Simpson said...

I'll be posting plenty of snow scenes during the Christmas Season to illustrate carols such as 'In the bleak midwinter' and 'See amid the winters snow'. The lead from my camera to the computer is still hidden in any one of forty or so boxes - so no Scottish photos for the time being!

I hope you are feeling much better. I am enjoying life up in the Highlands, but sadly haven't bumped into Monsignor Basil Loftus yet!

JoannaB said...

The view is lovely. This hymn made an impression on me when I was at school - I wasn't a Catholic then - but the solemnity of the advent service that we went to and the candles never left me.

Peter Simpson said...

I didn't realise that you have not been a Catholic all your life. Still, they often say that it we converts who are the most enthusiastic for our Catholic Faith!