In Praise of Animals

Franciscan Duns Scotus (1226-1308) taught that every creature was a little Word of God. As such, each creature we encounter has a story to tell about itself and about the Creator. The hymn praises God for all creatures as little Words of God.


In wisdom you have made your world,
Creatures proclaim your power.
Your love in each is clear unfurled,
In bird, in beast and flower.

Your wisdom made the crocodiles,
their power and speed astound.
Tough fungi web outspread beguiles,
Vast networks underground.

The crocodiles reveal your strength,
Your speed to love all things.
The web of insightful tissue
interconnection sings.

The magpie carols as day starts,
She knows all souls by names;
The wagtail with his call insists
The territory he claims.

The magpie shows to us your joy,
in all things she delights.
The wagtail lauds your claim on all,
Your endless name he writes.

The sandalwood links to its host
so both the dry survive.
it takes and gives in synergy
Together we’re alive.       

That shapely tree with fragrant oil
shows how you earn our trust.
The clouds of sweetly smelling mist
spread news that you are just.  

Ted Witham 2022

Metre 8686 – Kingsfold

or 8686D – Ellacombe