Psalm 35

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General Information

Settings by composers

For settings of verses 9 and 18 only, see Anima mea exultabit in Domino.

Text and translations

Clementine Vulgate (Psalm 34)

Latin.png Latin text

1  Ipsi David. Judica, Domine, nocentes me;
expugna impugnantes me.
2  Apprehende arma et scutum, et exsurge in adjutorium mihi.
3  Effunde frameam, et conclude adversus eos qui persequuntur me; dic animae meae:
Salus tua ego sum.
4  Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam;
avertantur retrorsum et confundantur cogitantes mihi mala.
5  Fiant tamquam pulvis ante faciem venti, et angelus Domini coartans eos.
6  Fiat via illorum tenebrae et lubricum, et angelus Domini persequens eos.
7  Quoniam gratis absconderunt mihi interitum laquei sui;
supervacue exprobraverunt animam meam.
8  Veniat illi laqueus quem ignorat, et captio quam abscondit apprehendat
eum, et in laqueum cadat in ipsum.
9  Anima autem mea exsultabit in Domino, et delectabitur super salutari suo.
10  Omnia ossa mea dicent: Domine, quis similis tibi? eripiens inopem de manu fortiorum
ejus; egenum et pauperem a diripientibus eum.
11  Surgentes testes iniqui, quae ignorabam interrogabant me.
12  Retribuebant mihi mala pro bonis, sterilitatem animae meae.
13  Ego autem, cum mihi molesti essent, induebar cilicio; humiliabam in jejunio animam meam,
et oratio mea in sinu meo convertetur.
14  Quasi proximum et quasi fratrem nostrum sic conplacebam;
quasi lugens et contristatus sic humiliabar.
15  Et adversum me laetati sunt, et convenerunt; congregata sunt super me flagella, et ignoravi.
16  Dissipati sunt, nec conpuncti; tentaverunt me, subsannaverunt me subsannatione; frenduerunt super me dentibus suis.
17  Domine, quando respicies? Restitue animam meam a malignitate eorum; a leonibus unicam meam.
18  Confitebor tibi in ecclesia magna; in populo gravi laudabo te.
19  Non supergaudeant mihi qui adversantur mihi inique,
qui oderunt me gratis, et annuunt oculis.
20  Quoniam mihi quidem pacifice loquebantur;
et in iracundia terrae loquentes, dolos cogitabant.
21  Et dilataverunt super me os suum; dixerunt: Euge, euge! viderunt oculi nostri.
22  Vidisti, Domine: ne sileas; Domine, ne discedas a me.
23  Exsurge et intende judicio meo, Deus meus; et Dominus meus, in causam meam.
24  Judica me secundum iustitiam tuam, Domine Deus meus, et non supergaudeant mihi.
25  Non dicant in cordibus suis: Euge, euge, animae nostrae; nec dicant:
Devoravimus eum.
26  Erubescant et revereantur simul qui gratulantur malis meis;
induantur confusione et reverentia qui magna loquuntur super me.
27  Exsultent et laetentur qui volunt justitiam meam; et dicant semper:
Magnificetur Dominus, qui volunt pacem servi ejus.
28  Et lingua mea meditabitur justitiam tuam; tota die laudem tuam.

Church of England 1662 Book of Common Prayer

English.png English text

1  Plead thou my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me:
and fight thou against them that fight against me.
2  Lay hand upon the shield and buckler: and stand up to help me.
3  Bring forth the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul,
I am thy salvation.
4  Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seek after my soul:
let them be turned back and brought to confusion, that imagine mischief for me.
5  Let them be as the dust before the wind: and the angel of the Lord scattering them.
6  Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
7  For they have privily laid their net to destroy me without a cause:
yea, even without a cause have they made a pit for my soul.
8  Let a sudden destruction come upon him unawares, and his net, that he hath laid privily, catch
himself: that he may fall into his own mischief.
9  And, my soul, be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10  All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him: yea, the poor, and him that is in misery, from him that spoileth him?
11  False witnesses did rise up: they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12  They rewarded me evil for good: to the great discomfort of my soul.
13  Nevertheless, when they were sick, I put on sackcloth, and humbled my soul with fasting:
and my prayer shall turn into mine own bosom.
14  I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother:
I went heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15  But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the very abjects came together against me unawares, making mouths at me, and ceased not.
16  With the flatterers were busy mockers: who gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17  Lord, how long wilt thou look upon this: O deliver my soul from the calamities which they bring on me, and my darling from the lions.
18  So will I give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19  O let not them that are mine enemies triumph over me ungodly:
neither let them wink with their eyes that hate me without a cause.
20  And why? their communing is not for peace;
but they imagine deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land.
21  They gaped upon me with their mouths, and said: Fie on thee, fie on thee, we saw it with our eyes.
22  This thou hast seen, O Lord: hold not thy tongue then, go not far from me, O Lord.
23  Awake, and stand up to judge my quarrel: avenge thou my cause, my God, and my Lord.
24  Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness : and let them not triumph over me.
25  Let them not say in their hearts, There, there, so would we have it: neither let them say,
We have devoured him.
26  Let them be put to confusion and shame together, that rejoice at my trouble:
let them be clothed with rebuke and dishonour, that boast themselves against me.
27  Let them be glad and rejoice, that favour my righteous dealing: yea, let them say alway,
Blessed be the Lord, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28  And as for my tongue, it shall be talking of thy righteousness: and of thy praise all the day long.

Metrical 'Old Version' (John Hopkins)

English.png English text

Lord, plead my cause against my foes,
Confound their force and might,
And take my part against all those
That seek with me to fight.

Lay hold upon the spear and shield,
Thyself in armour dress;
Stand up with me to fight the field,
And help me from distress.

Gird on thy sword, and stop the way,
My enemies withstand;
That thou unto my soul may'st say,
I am thy help at hand.

Confound them with rebuke and blame,
That seek my soul to spill;
Let them turn back and flee with shame,
That think to work me ill.

Let them disperse and flee abroad,
As wind doth drive the dust;
That so the angel of our God
Their might away may thrust.

Let all their ways be void of light,
And slipp'ry, like to fall;
And send thy angel with thy might
To persecute them all.

For why? Without my fault have they
In secret set their gin,
And digg'd a pit in my path-way,
To take my soul therein.

When they think least, and have no care,
O Lord, destroy them all;
Let them be caught in their own snare,
And in their mischief fall.

But let my soul, my heart, and voice,
In God have joy and wealth;
That in the Lord I may rejoice,
And in his saving health:

Then all my bones shall speak and say,
(My parts shall all agree)
O thou great God of heav'n and earth,
What man is like to thee!

The Second Part
Thou dost defend the weak from them
That are both stout and strong
And rid the poor from wicked men,
That spoil and do them wrong.

My cruel foes against me rise,
To witness things untrue;
And to accuse me they devise
Of things I never knew.

Where I to them did show good will,
They quit me with disdain;
That they should pay my good with ill,
My soul doth sore complain.

When they were sick I mourn'd therefore,
Myself in sackcloth clad,
With fasting I did faint full sore,
And prayed with heart most sad:

As they had been my brethren dear,
I did myself behave,
As one that mourneth heavily
About his mother's grave:

But they in my adversity
Did gather in a rout;
Yea, abject slaves reproachfully
At me did mock and flout.

The belly-gods and flatt'ring train,
That all good things deride,
At me did grin with great disdain,
Turning their mouths aside.

Lord, when wilt thou for me appear?
Why dost thou stay and pause?
O rid my soul, my darling dear,
Out of these lions' claws:

And when will I give thanks to thee
Before the church always;
And where most of the people be,
There will I shew thy praise.

Let not my foes prevail on me,
Which hate me for no fault;
Neither let them wink with their eyes,
That causeless me assault.

The Third Part
Of peace no word they think or say,
Their talk is all untrue;
They still consult how to betray
All those that peace pursue.

With open mouth they run at me,
Their fury is like fire:
Well, well, say they, our eye doth see
The thing that we desire.

But, Lord, thou seest what ways they take,
And what they do intend;
Be not far off, nor me forsake,
But speedy help me send.

Awake, arise, and stir abroad,
Defend me in my right:
Revenge my cause, O Lord my God,
And aid me with thy might.

According to thy righteousness,
O Lord God, set me free;
And let them not their price express,
Nor triumph over me.

Let not their hearts rejoice nor cry,
E'en so we would it have;
Nor give them cause to say on high,
He's sunk into the grave.

Confound them all that do rejoice,
When they my trouble see;
Let them be clothed with rebuke,
That boast with scorn at me.

But let them heartily rejoice,
Who love my upright way;
Let them all times with heart and voice
Still praise the Lord, and say,

Great is the Lord, and doth excel,
And he doth much delight
To see his servants prosper well,
It is his pleasant sight.

Wherefore my tongue I will apply,
Thy righteousness to praise:
To thee, O Lord my God, will I
Give laud and thanks always.

Metrical 'New Version' (Tate/Brady)

English.png English text

Against all those that strive with me,
O Lord, assert my right;
With such as war unjustly wage
Do thou my battles fight.

Thy buckler take, and bind thy shield
Upon thy warlike arm;
Stand up, my God, in my defence,
And keep me safe from harm.

Bring forth thy spear, and stop their course,
That haste my blood to spill;
Say to my soul, I am thy health,
And will preserve thee still.

Let them with shame be cover'd o'er,
Who my destruction sought;
And such as did my harm devise
Be to confusion brought.

Then shall they fly, dispers'd like chaff
Before the driving wind;
God's vengeful minister of wrath
Shall follow close behind.

And when through dark and slipp'ry ways
They strive his rage to shun,
His vengeful ministers of wrath
Shall goad them as they run.

Since, unprovoked by any wrong,
They hid their treach'rous snare;
And for my harmless soul a pit
Did causelessly prepare:

Surprised by mischiefs unforeseen,
By their own arts betray'd;
Their feet shall fall into the net
Which they for me had laid.

Whilst my glad soul shall God's great name
For this deliv'rance bless,
And, by his saving health secur'd,
Its grateful joy express;

My very bones shall say, O Lord,
Who can compare with thee,
Who sett'st the poor and helpless man
From strong oppressors free?

The Second Part
False witnesses, with forg'd complaints,
Against my truth combin'd;
And to my charge such things they laid
As I had ne'er design'd.

The good which I to them had done,
With evil they repaid;
And did, by malice undeserv'd,
My harmless life invade.

But as for me, when they were sick,
I still in sackcloth mourn'd;
I prayed and fasted, and my pray'r
To my own breast return'd,

Had they my friends or brethren been,
I could have done no more,
Nor with more decent signs of grief
A mother's loss deplore.

How diff'rent did their carriage prove
In times of my distress;
When they, in crowds together met,
Did savage joy express.

The rabble too, in num'rous throngs,
By their example came,
And ceas'd not, with reviling words,
To wound my spotless fame.

Scoffers, that noble tables haunt,
And earn their bread with lies,
Did gnash their teeth, and sland'ring jests
Maliciously devise.

But, Lord, how long wilt thou look on?
On my behalf appear:
And save my guiltless soul, which they,
Like rav'ning beasts, would tear.

The Third Part
So I, before the list'ning world,
Shall grateful thanks express;
And, where the great assembly meets,
Thy name with praises bless.

Lord, suffer not my causeless foes,
Who me unjustly hate,
With open joy, or secret signs,
To mock my sad estate.

For they, with hearts averse from peace,
Industriously devise
Against the men of quiet minds
To forge malicious lies.

Nor with these private arts content,
Aloud they vent their spite;
And say, At last we found him out,
He did it in our sight,

But thou, who dost both them and me
With righteous eyes survey,
Assert my innocence, O Lord,
And keep not far away.

Stir up thyself, in my behalf
To judgment, Lord, awake;
Thy righteous servant's cause, O God,
To thy decision take.

Lord, as my heart has upright been,
Let me thy justice find;
Nor let my cruel foes obtain
The triumph they design'd.

O let them not amongst themselves
In blasting language say,
At length our wishes are complete,
At last he's made our prey.

Let such as in my harm rejoic'd
For shame their faces hide;
And foul dishonour wait on those
That proudly me defied:

Whilst they with cheerful voices shout,
Who my just cause befriend;
And bless the Lord, who loves to make
Success his saints attend.

So shall my tongue thy judgments sing,
Inspir'd with grateful joy;
And cheerful hymns in praise of thee
Shall all my days employ.

Metrical version by James Merrick

English.png English text

Do thou, just God, my cause defend,
O let thy pow'r its aid extend,
And make my quarrel thine; my foes
Let thy resistless pow'r oppose;
Arise thy speediest help to yield,
And reach the corslet, reach the shield,
Grasp in thy hand the glitt'ring lance,
And obvious in the breach advance;
Say to my troubled soul; 'In me
Thy strength and sure salvation see.'

Let shame their glowing cheeks o'erspread,
Whose ceaseless threats excite my dread,
And let them, struck with wild affright,
Inglorious backward urge their flight,
Dispers'd, as chaff before the wind,
Thy angel pressing close behind,
Along the dark and slipp'ry way,
Whose paths their stagg'ring steps betray,
And from the arm ethereal find
The vengeance to their guilt assign'd.

Thou seest them, Lord, with causeless hate,
Beside my path insidious wait,
With causeless hate the pit prepare,
And plant before my steps their snare.
O let destruction's sudden stroke,
While thus thy justice they provoke,
Descend, vindictive, on their head;
Fast in the net for me outspread
Involv'd, let each repentant groan,
And reap the mischiefs he has sown.

But thou, my soul, with awful joy
On God thy stedfast thought employ,
And, his salvation taught to prove,
Record the wonders of his love.
Each bone whose strength supports my frame
With grateful transport shall exclaim,
Lord! Whom like thee shall mortals find,
For ever just, for ever kind,
Like thee prepar'd th'afflicted poor
From stern oppression to secure.

Thus poor and thus oppress'd with wrong
Awhile was I: a hostile throng
(Whose tongue to fraud has loos'd the reins,
And lie with lie connected feigns)
Against me urg'd, to scandal prone,
The guilt my breast had never known,
And left me helpless and forlorn
The friendship ill repay'd to mourn,
That, when affliction's weight they bare,
Had taught my heart their woes to share:

While sickness wrapt them in its chain,
And fix'd them on the bed of pain,
My heart, that no affection ow'd,
With sympathizing pity glow'd.
I knew their suff'rings to bewail,
And sunk with grief, with fasting pale,
To God, in sorrow's garb array'd,
With humblest intercession pray'd,
And found the pray'r their pride has spurn'd
With blessings on my head return'd:

Dissolv'd in tears, with languour worn,
What misery my soul has borne!
Nor friend for friend sincerer woes,
Nor brother for a brother, knows;
Nor feels the son his melting breast
With deeper sense of grief impress'd,
That grasps a dying mother's hand,
And waits to take her last command,
Or o'er her loss in secret pines,
And wraps the sackcloth round his loins.

Not such the pity shown to me:
Ev'n abjects my abjection see
With scornful gaze, as round me stand,
In adverse league, a lawless band,
These taught with well-dissembled art
To veil the purpose of their heart,
While those in open hate engage,
And ceaseless vent their murth'rous rage,
Now furious grind their teeth, and now
Insulting aim the deathful blow.

How long wilt thou, my God, how long
With patient eye behold my wrong?
How long shall I, with anguish torn,
Thy face, my God, averted mourn?
With vain and fruitless hope attend
Till thou, my guardian and my friend,
The lion's dreaded rage control,
And rescue my deserted soul,
That, 'mid th'assembled tribes, my tongue
May raise to thee the thankful song?

O let not my uninjur'd foes
With speaking eye, amidst my woes,
As round they stand in close array,
The triumphs of their heart betray.
Behold them, Lord, their arts address,
The friends of peace and truth t'oppress,
But chief my name with insults load:
'Thou wretch abandon'd of thy God,
In vain', they clamour, 'what our eyes
Attest, thy conscious tongue denies.'

My God, (for thou their rage hast seen,)
With timeliest succour intervene,
Nor silent long, Almighty Sire,
Remain, nor distant far retire.
Arise, thy saving pow'r disclose,
And heal with pitying hand my woes;
Awake, thy aiding strength excite,
Awake, and vindicate my right;
Let justice teach them, by thy stroke,
Their frantic triumphs to revoke;

Let not their heart, its wish complete,
With secret joy transported beat,
Or boasting hail th'expected hour,
That gives me to the murth'rer's pow'r;
But back my threaten'd life demand
From stern opression's iron hand:
Let all who make my grief their scorn
Their blasted hopes astonish'd mourn;
Let stern rebuke and foul disgrace
With shame perpetual clothe their face,

Lo, nigh me rang'd, with thankful voice
The friends of innocence rejoice,
And 'Blest,' they cry, 'be Jacob's Lord,
The God by heav'n and earth ador'd,
Who joys his servant's cause to plead,
And crowns with peace his favour'd head.'
While, loudest in the choir, my tongue
To notes of praise shall tune its song,
And pleas'd through each revolving day
Thy justice, mightiest Lord, display.

Metrical paraphrases by Isaac Watts

English.png English text

FIRST PART (verses 1-9)
Prayer and faith of persecuted saints; or, Imprecations mix'd with charity.

1  Now plead my cause, Almighty God,
With all the sons of strife;
And fight against the men of blood,
Who fight against my life.

2  Draw out thy spear and stop their way,
Lift thine avenging rod;
But to my soul in mercy say,
"I am thy Saviour-God!"

3  They plant their snares to catch my feet,
And nets of mischief spread;
Plunge the destroyers in the pit
That their own hands have made.

4  Let fogs and darkness hide their way,
And slipp'ry be their ground;
Thy wrath shall make their lives a prey,
And all their rage confound.

5  They fly like chaff before the wind,
Before thine angry breath;
The angel of the Lord behind
Pursues them down to death.

6  They love the road that leads to hell;
Then let the rebels die,
Whose malice is implacable
Against the Lord on high.

7  But if thou hast a chosen few
Amongst that impious race;
Divide them from the bloody crew,
By thy surprising grace.

8  Then will I raise my tuneful voice,
To make thy wonders known;
In their salvation I'll rejoice,
And bless thee for my own.

English.png English text

SECOND PART (verses 12-14)
Love to enemies; or, The love of Christ to sinners typify'd in David.

1  Behold the love, the gen'rous love,
That holy David shows;
Hark, how his sounding bowels move
To his afflicted foes!

2  When they are sick his soul complains,
And seems to feel the smart;
The spirit of the gospel reigns,
And melts his pious heart.

3  How did his flowing tears condole
As for a brother dead!
And fasting mortified his soul,
While for their life he pray'd.

4  They groaned, and curst him on their bed,
Yet still he pleads and mourns;
And double blessings on his head
The righteous God returns.

5  O glorious type of heav'nly grace!
Thus Christ the Lord appears;
While sinners curse, the Savior prays,
And pities them with tears.

6  He, the true David, Israel's King,
Blest and belov'd of God,
To save us rebels dead in sin,
Paid his own dearest blood.