On The Bow: "Before the Lord We Bow"
Another hymn from the famed Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) with a religious twist, "Before the Lord We Bow" shows praise, humility, and surrender to God's grace. This hymn's words are enchanted by the music of John Darwall ( 1731-1789) with his tune. The setting for this hymn was done by William H. Monk (1823-1889).
This hymn is also known by another title called "I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your Name forever and ever" referenced in Psalm 145:1. It was written in 1832, accompanied by "Darwall's 148th," in 1770. The hymn has five stanzas and eight lines. Shorter versions have five or four stanzas.
The hymn, like many praise hymns, contains verses of praise and adoration for the Lord using His creations. Stanza Two is also very particular of a nation's relationship with God. It implies that God blesses, protects, and loves the nation – which is reciprocated by the said Nation. Stanza Four mentions Jesus and his role to all Christian believers.
Apart from this hymn, Scott Key also penned another religious hymn called "Lord, with Glowing Heart, I'd Praise Thee." Key was well-known for his patriotic hymn, "The Star-Spangled Banner," which was chosen as the US national anthem. Apart from writing hymns, he served as a District Attorney of Washington, DC. He served his church as a vestryman of St. John's Church and Christ Church in Georgetown. His other religious work was teaching Episcopalian Sunday School.
The tune for this hymn is "Darwall," named after its composer, John Darwall. Darwall was an English clergyman and hymnodist. Born in Haughton in Staffordshire, England, he was brought in the religious life and made his life an extension of his faith. His only melody named "Darwall" or "Darwall's 148th" is a popular tune. "Darwall's 148th" is so-called because it was a common and popular tune for Psalm 148 and still used today. The tune appears in 304 hymnals.