I did in heart rejoice
To hear the people's voice
In offering so willingly:
For let us up, say they,
And in the Lord's house pray:
Thus spake the folk with amity.
Our feet that wander'd wide
Shall in thy gates abide,
O thou Jerusalem full fair;
Which art so seemly set
Much like a city neat,
Whither the people do repair.
The tribes with one accord,
To give thanks to the Lord,
Are thither bent their way to take:
So God before did tell
That there his Israel
Their prayers should together make.
For there are thrones erect,
And that for this respect,
To set forth justice orderly:
Which thrones' right to maintain,
To David's house pertain,
His folk to judge with equity.
To pray let us not cease
For Jerusalem's peace:
Thy friends God keep in amity;
Peace be thy walls about,
And prosper thee throughout
Thy palaces continually.
For my friends sake will I
Wish that prosperity
May evermore abide in thee:
God's house doth me allure
Thy wealth for to procure,
As much as always lies in me.
Metrical 'New Version' (Tate & Brady)
1 O 'twas a joyful sound to hear
Our tribes devoutly say,
Up, Israel, to the temple haste,
And keep your festal day.
2 At Salem's courts we must appear
With our assembl'd pow'rs,
3 In strong and beauteous order rang'd,
Like her united tow'rs.
4 'Tis thither, by divine command,
The tribes of God repair,
Before his ark to celebrate
His name with praise and pray'r.
5 Tribunals stand erected there,
Where equity takes place;
There stand the courts and palaces
Of royal David's race.
6 O pray we then for Salem's peace,
For they shall prosp'rous be,
(Thou holy city of our God)
Who bear true love to thee.
7 May peace within thy sacred walls
A constant guest be found,
With plenty and prosperity
Thy palaces be crown'd.
8 For my dear brethren's sake, and friends
No less than brethren dear,
I'll pray - May peace in Salem's tow'rs
A constant guest appear.
9 But most of all, I'll seek thy good,
And ever wish thee well,
For Sion and the temple's sake,
Where God vouchsafes to dwell.
Metrical paraphrases by Isaac Watts
VERSION 1. Going to church (C. M.)
1 How did my heart rejoice to hear
My friends devoutly say,
"In Zion let us all appear,
And keep the solemn day!"
2 I love her gates, I love the road;
The church adorn'd with grace
Stands like a palace built for God
To shew his milder face.
3 Up to her courts with joys unknown
The holy tribes repair;
The son of David holds his throne,
And sits in judgment there.
4 He hears our praises and complaints;
And while his awful voice
Divides the sinners from the saints,
We tremble and rejoice.
5 Peace be within this sacred place,
And joy a constant guest!
With holy gifts and heav'nly grace
Be her attendants blest!
6 My soul shall pray for Zion still,
While life or breath remains;
There my best friends, my kindred dwell,
There God my Saviour reigns.
VERSION 2. Going to church (668. 668.)
1 How pleas'd and blest was I
To hear the people cry,
'Come, let us seek our God today':
Yes, with a cheerful zeal
We haste to Zion's hill,
And there our vows and honors pay.
2 Zion, thrice happy place,
Adorn'd with wondrous grace,
And walls of strength embrace thee round;
In thee our tribes appear,
To pray, and praise, and hear
The sacred gospel's joyful sound.
3 There David's greater son
Has fix'd his royal throne,
He sits for grace and judgment there;
He bids the saint be glad,
He makes the sinner sad,
And humble souls rejoice with fear.
4 May peace attend thy gate,
And joy within thee wait
To bless the soul of ev'ry guest!
The man that seeks thy peace,
And wishes thine increase,
A thousand blessings on him rest!
5 My tongue repeats her vows,
Peace to this sacred house!
For there my friends and kindred dwell:
And since my glorious God
Makes thee his blest abode,
My soul shall ever love thee well.
The festal morn, my God, is come,
That calls me to thy honour'd dome,
Thy presence to adore:
My feet the summons shall attend,
With willing step thy courts ascend,
And tread the hallow'd floor.
Ev'n now to our transported eyes
Fair Sion's tow'rs in prospect rise;
Within her gates we stand,
And, lost in wonder and delight,
Behold her happy sons unite
In friendship's firmest band.
Hither from Judah's utmost end
The heav'n-protected tribes ascend;
Their off'rings hither bring;
Here, eager to attest their joy,
In hymns of praise their tongues employ,
And hail th'immortal King.
By his command impell'd, to her
Contending crowds their cause refer;
While princes from her throne
With equal doom th'unerring law
Dispense, who boast their birth to draw
From Jesse's favour'd son.
Be peace by each implor'd on thee,
O Salem, while with bended knee
To Jacob's God we pray:
How blest who calls himself thy friend!
Success his labour shall attend,
And safety guard his way.
O may'st thou, free from hostile fear,
Nor the loud voice of tumult hear,
Nor war's wild wastes deplore:
May plenty near thee take her stand,
And in thy courts with lavish hand
Distribute all her store.
Seat of my friends and brethren, hail!
How can my tongue, O Salem, fail
To bless thy lov'd abode?
How cease the zeal that in me glows
Thy good to seek, whose walls inclose
The mansion of my God?