An anthem for SATB mixed chorus, organ, harp, and violoncello; composed in July 1975, rev. 1982. Text from an Old English Christian poem The Phoenix; tr. Charles W. Kennedy (alt.), and Psalm 108:2 and Psalm 36:5.
Awake, my soul; awake, lute and harp; I will awake the dawn. As the Phoenix wings from the woodland tree, swift of pinion, soars to the sky, so will I rise and give thanks to you, O Lord; for your kindness towers to the heavens; your faithfulness to the skies. O rising Sun, most radiant angel, God of God, true Son of the Father, ever Lord of celestial light, send the bright sun, illumine those in darkness, in eternal night. O Savior, Lord, help us put down the prince of death. Let thy handiwork mount up on high as that blessed bird, when a thousand winters have waxed and waned and life ends, the balefire burns, that blessed bird rises again out of the ashes transformed, restored. Savior of souls, speak; with the sounding trumpet awake—thy bitter passion by the Father’s grace was given new life. As the Phoenix with youth refashioned out of the ashes wakes again, to the life of life by God’s grace (the body’s death). Our eager flight, our hymns, our songs rise to praise the Lord in his glorious Kingdom—that lovely city—world without end. Awake, my soul; awake, lute and harp; I will awake the dawn.
Dedicated to Miriam Terry, retired Professor of Music, University of Washington, Seattle.