O Lord, give ear to my just cause,
Attend unto my cry,
And hear the pray'r I offer up
To thee unfeignedly;
And let the judgement of my cause
Proceed always from thee,
And let thine eyes behold and clear
Truth and simplicity.
Thou hast well try'd me in the night,
And yet could'st nothing find.
That I have spoken with my tongue,
That was not in my mind.
As for the works of wicked men,
And paths perverse and ill,
For love of thy most holy name
I have refrained still.
Then in thy paths that be most pure,
Lord, guide me, and preserve,
That from the way wherein I walk
My steps may never swerve.
For I do call to thee, O Lord,
Surely thou wilt me aid;
Then hear my pray'r, and weigh right well
The words that I have said.
O thou, the Saviour of all them
That put their trust in thee,
Declare thy strength on them that spurn
Against thy majesty.
O keep me as thou wouldest keep
The apple of thine eye,
And under covert of thy wings
Defend me secretly;
The Second Part
From wicked men that trouble me,
And daily me annoy;
And from my foes that go about
My soul for to destroy:
Who wallow in their worldly wealth,
And are so full and fat,
That in their pride they do not spare
To speak they care not what.
They lie in wait where I should pass,
With craft me to confound;
And musing mischief in their minds,
To cast me to the ground:
Much like a lion greedily
That would his prey embrace;
Or lurking like a lion's whelp,
Within some secret place.
Up, Lord, in haste, prevent my foe,
And cast him at my feet;
Save thou my soul from the ill man,
And with thy sword him smite.
Deliver me, Lord, by thy pow'r,
Out of these tyrants' hands,
Who now so long time reigned have,
And kept us in their bands;
I mean, from worldly men, who do
In worldly goods abound;
That have no hope or joy but what
In this life can be found.
Thou of thy store their bellies fill'st
With pleasure to their mind;
Their children have enough, and leave
The rest to theirs behind.
But as for me, I will behold
Thy face in righteousness;
And shall be satisfied when I
Awake with thy likeness.
Metrical 'New Version' (Tate/Brady)
To my just plea and sad complaint,
Attend, O righteous Lord,
And to my pray'r, as 'tis unfeign'd,
A gracious ear afford.
As in thy sight I am approv'd,
So let my sentence be;
And with impartial eyes, O Lord,
My upright dealing see.
For thou hast search'd my heart by day,
And visited by night;
And on the strictest trial found
Its secret motions right.
Nor shall thy justice, Lord, alone
My heart's designs acquit;
For I have purpos'd that my tongue
Shall no offence commit.
I know what wicked men would do
Their safety to maintain;
But me thy just and mild commands
From bloody paths restrain.
That I may still, in spite of wrongs,
My innocence secure;
O guide me in thy righteous ways,
And make my footsteps sure.
Since heretofore I ne'er in vain
To thee my pray'r address'd;
O now, my God, incline thine ear
To this my just request.
The wonders of thy truth and love
In my defence engage;
Thou, whose right hand preserves thy saints
From their oppressors' rage.
The Second Part
O! keep me in thy tend'rest care;
Thy shelt'ring wings stretch out,
To guard me safe from savage foes,
That compass me about.
O'ergrown with luxury, inclosed
In their own fat they lie;
And with a proud blaspheming mouth
Both God and man defy.
Well may they boast, for they have now
My paths encompass'd round;
Their eyes at watch, their bodies bow'd,
And crouching on the ground,
In posture of a lion set,
When greedy of his prey;
Or a young lion, when he lurks
Within a covert way.
Arise, O Lord, defeat their plots,
Their swelling rage control;
From wicked men, who are thy sword,
Deliver thou my soul:
From worldly men, thy sharpest scourge,
Whose portion's here below;
Who, fill'd with earthly stores, desire
No other bliss to know.
Their race is num'rous that partake
Their substance while they live:
Their heirs survive, to whom they may
The vast remainder give.
But I, in uprightness, thy face
Shall view without control;
And, waking, shall its image find
Reflected in my soul.
Metrical paraphrases by Isaac Watts, 1719
PART 1 Portion of saints and sinners;
or, Hope and despair in death (S. M.)
Arise, my gracious God,
And make the wicked flee;
They are but thy chastising rod,
To drive thy saints to thee.
Behold, the sinner dies,
His haughty words are vain;
Here in this life his pleasure lies,
And all beyond is pain.
Then let his pride advance,
And boast of all his store;
The Lord is my inheritance,
My soul can wish no more.
I shall behold the face
Of my forgiving God;
And stand complete in righteousness,
Washed in my Savior's blood.
There's a new heaven begun,
When I awake from death,
Dressed in the likeness of thy Son,
And draw immortal breath.
PART 2 The sinner's portion and saint's hope;
or, The heaven of separate souls in the resurrection (L. M.)
Lord, I am thine; but thou wilt prove
My faith, my patience, and my love:
When men of spite against me join,
They are the sword, the hand is thine.
Their hope and portion lies below:
'Tis all the happiness they know,
'Tis all they seek; they take their shares,
And leave the rest among their heirs.
What sinners value I resign;
Lord, 'tis enough that thou art mine:
I shall behold thy blissful face,
And stand complete in righteousness.
This life's a dream, an empty show;
But the bright world to which I go
Hath joys substantial and sincere:
When shall I wake and find me there?
O glorious hour! O blest abode!
I shall be near and like my God!
And flesh and sin no more control
The sacred pleasures of the soul.
My flesh shall slumber in the ground
Till the last trumpet's joyful sound;
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise,
And in my Savior's image rise.