Metrical 'New Version' (Tate/Brady)
My God, my God, why leav'st thou me
When I with anguish faint?
O why so far from me remov'd,
And from my loud complaint?
All day, but all the day unheard,
To thee do I complain;
With cries implore relief all night,
But cry all night in vain.
Yet thou art still the righteous judge
Of innocence oppress'd;
And therefore Israel's praises are
Of right to thee addressed.
On thee our ancestors relied,
And thy deliv'rance found;
With pious confidence they pray'd,
And with success were crown'd.
But I am treated like a worm,
Like none of human birth;
Not only by the great revil'd,
But made the rabble's mirth.
With laughter all the gazing crowd
My agonies survey;
They shoot the lip, they shake the head,
And thus deriding say:
In God he trusted, boasting oft
That he was Heav'n's delight;
Let God come down to save him now,
And own his favourite.
The Second Part.
Thou mad'st my teeming mother's womb
A living offspring bear;
When but a suckling at the breast
I was thy early care.
Thou, guardian-like, didst shield from wrongs
My helpless infant days;
And since hast been my God and guide
Through life's bewilder'd ways.
Withdraw not then so far from me,
When trouble is so nigh;
O send me help! thy help, on which
I only can rely.
High pampered bulls, a frowning herd,
From Basan's forest met,
With strength proportion'd to their rage,
Have me around beset.
They gape on me, and ev'ry mouth
A yawning grave appears;
The desert lion's savage roar
Less dreadful is than theirs.
The Third Part.
My blood like water's spill'd, my joints
Are rack'd and out of frame;
My heart dissolves within my breast,
Like wax before the flame;
My strength like potter's earth is parch'd,
My tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And to the silent shades of death
My fainting soul withdraws.
Like blood-hounds, to surround me, they
In packed assemblies meet;
They pierc'd my inoffensive hands,
They pierc'd my harmless feet.
My body's rack'd, till all my bones
Distinctly may be told:
Yet such a spectacle of woe
As pastime they behold.
As spoil, my garments they divide,
Lots for my vesture cast:
Therefore approach, O Lord, my strength,
And to my succour haste.
From their sharp sword protect thou me,
Of all but life bereft;
Nor let my darling in the pow'r
Of cruel dogs be left.
To save me from the lion's jaws
Thy present succour send;
As once, from goring unicorns
Thou didst my life defend.
Then to my brethren I'll declare
The triumphs of thy name;
In presence of assembled saints
Thy glory thus proclaim:
Ye worshippers of Jacob's God,
All you of Israel's line,
O praise the Lord, and to your praise
Sincere obedience join.
He ne'er disdain'd on low distress
To cast a gracious eye;
Nor turned from poverty his face,
But hears its humble cry.
The Fourth Part.
Thus in thy sacred courts will I
My cheerful thanks express;
In presence of thy saints perform
The vows of my distress.
The meek companions of my grief
Shall find my table spread;
And all that seek the Lord shall be
With joys immortal fed.
Then shall the glad converted world
To God their homage pay;
And scatter'd nations of the earth
One sov'reign Lord obey.
'Tis his supreme prerogative
O'er subject kings to reign;
'Tis just that he should rule the world,
Who does the world sustain.
The rich, who are with plenty fed,
His bounty must confess;
The sons of want, by him reliev'd,
Their gen'rous patron bless.
With humble worship to his throne
They all for aid resort;
That pow'r, which first their beings gave,
Can only them support.
Then shall a chosen spotless race,
Devoted to his name,
To their admiring heirs his truth
And glorious acts proclaim.
My God, my God, O tell me why
Unheeded still ascends my cry,
Why thus from my afflicted heart
Thy presence and thy health depart.
Eternal Lord, throughout the day
With fruitless plaint to thee I pray;
Nor sleeps the anguish of my soul,
When night's dark shades involve the pole.
Yet unimpeach'd thy faith appears,
Thy sanctity my heart reveres,
O thou, to whom in homage join
The sons of Jacob's chosen line.
Thee, Lord, our sires their strength confest,
And found thee, as their stedfast breast
To thee its full affiance gave,
Nor slow to hear, nor weak to save:
Lord, what am I? A man in form,
Yet brother to the trampled worm;
An outcast from the human kind,
To fierce derision's rage consign'd:
They shake the head, they shout, they gaze;
Each eye, each lip, contempt betrays:
'On God, they cry, thy hope was staid;
'Be God, if is thou art, thy aid.'
Thine, mightiest Father, thine I am;
By thee from out the womb I came,
From thee my ev'ry comfort sprung,
While yet upon the breast I hung.
Hail, from my birth and to my end
My God, my Guardian, and my Friend.
O haste, thy needful help bestow,
And save me from th'invading foe.
O view me not with distant eye,
While various griefs await me nigh:
Thy aid withheld, what friendly pow'r
Shall shield me in the dang'rous hour?
See Basan's bulls around me roar,
Nor rage the famish'd lions more,
When nightly through the starless gloom
Along the howling wild they roam.
My frame, disjoin'd, in swift decay
Wastes like the running stream away;
My heart in groans its grief proclaims,
And melts, as wax before the flames.
Fast to my jaws my tongue is chain'd,
My flesh, its vital moisture drain'd,
While, Lord, thy chastisement it bears,
Dry as the clay-form'd vase appears;
Yet, patient still of ev'ry pain
Unerring Wisdom can ordain,
I wait till thou resume my breath,
And lodge me in the dust of death.
A hostile throng, who thee despise,
Dogs fierce of kind, against me rise;
And, while fast-issuing streams the gore,
My hands and feet relentless bore.
My starting bones to ev'ry eye
Expos'd, O ye that, passing by,
In wonder (not in pity) join,
O say, was ever grief like mine?
My raiment each with each divides,
My vesture, as the lot decides,
Becomes some new possessor's spoil,
The prize that crowns his impious toil.
My God, my strength, recede not far,
But haste, and make my soul thy care,
My soul, pursu'd by hostile hate,
Afflicted, helpless, desolate?
My God, (for thou their rage hast seen)
With timeliest succour intervene,
And turn th'impending swords away,
Nor yield me to the dog a prey.
The foaming lion's wrath assuage,
Nor let the oryx, in his rage,
With headlong force against me borne,
Aim at my life the pointed horn.
So will I joy thy honour'd name
Amidst my brethren to proclaim,
And gath'ring crouds shall hear my tongue
Thus to my God awake the song.
'Exalt, ye saints, the pow'r divine,
Exalt him, all of Jacob's line,
And let each tribe with duteous fear
His boundless Majesty revere.
'Tis not in him, with cold disdain
To hear the helpless poor complain;
He kindly sees their wrongs redrest,
And soothe to peace their trouble breast:
He (nor with unrelenting eye)
Each falling tear, each heaving sigh,
Regards, attentive to perceive
Their wants, and faithful to relieve.'
Such strains thy mercy shall inspire,
While in the full-assembled choir
To thee the votive song I raise,
And thankful pay my debt of praise.
To you, ye humble, meek, and good,
Who ask from Israel's Lord your food,
His hand indulgent from on high
Shall yield at full the wish'd supply:4
Who seek like you their God, like you
To him their praises shall renew,
Whose Love immortal life imparts,
And swells with joy their conscious hearts.
Maker of all! through ev'ry land
Thy deeds in full record shall stand,
And farthest realms converted join
In homage to the name divine;
Kings shall in thee their mightier greet,
And lay their scepters at thy feet.
(Thy grace by sacrifice implor'd,)
Earth's tribes shall spread the festal board.
And all mankind, whose mortal frame
Th'insatiate grave prepares to claim,
Thy pow'r, immortal Judge, shall own,
And prostrate kneel before thy throne.
See, while by thee redeem'd I live,
A race from me their birth derive,
A race by just possession thine,
Whose hearts inspir'd, to truth incline
Whose tongue thy glory shall display,
Instruct the world thy will t'obey,
And bid thy righteous acts engage
The wonder of the future age.
1 My God! my God! why leavest thou me,
When I with anguish call on Thee?
Why dost thou me neglect,
And my loud prayer reject?
All day, but all the day in vain,
To Thee, O Lord, do I complain:
All night have I implored
Thy help to me restored.
2 Yet thou, O Lord, art ever just,
Relieving those, who in thee trust;
Therefore shalt Israel raise
To thee, continual Praise:
On Thee our ancestors relied,
And in thy strength their foes divide;
To thee their prayers addressed,
And with success were blessed.
3 Thy sure deliverance, Lord, they found,
When dangers gathered thickest round;
Thine ears their cries received,
And they were soon relieved;
But I, like none of human birth,
Am made the scoffing rabble's mirth;
Even like a reptile base,
They hold me in disgrace.
4 My agonies, the gazing crowd,
Survey with scorn and laughter loud,
They mock while I complain,
And thus my woes disdain:
"He boasted, he was heaven's delight,
Let God relieve his favorite;
Let Him assistance send,
His Servant to defend."
5 But Thou didst from my mother's womb,
Make me a living offspring come;
Thy care thou didst extend,
Me helpless to defend:
My youth Thou didst from danger shield,
And guardian-like protection yield;
In Thee I will confide,
For Thou wert still my guide.
6 Withdraw not then, O God, Most high!
Thy aid, when trouble is so nigh:
Do Thou that help extend,
On which I still depend.
High-pamper'd bulls, a frowning throng,
From Bashan's forest, fierce and strong,
Prepare with growing rage,
Against me to engage.
7 They gape on me, and to my fears,
Each mouth, a yawning grave appears;
Wide open to devour
My soul, when in their power:
The desert lion's savage roar,
Could not increase my horrors more.
In compact close combined,
They have my fall design'd.
8 My joints are racked, and out of frame;
My heart like wax before the flame.
Within my bosom glows;
My blood like water flows:
My strength is parched like potter's clay,
My faltering tongue forgets to play;
My soul all hope resigns,
And to the grave declines.
9 Like bloodhounds, they assembled round,
My harmless hands and feet they wound;
And through my constant pain,
I languish and complain;
That all my bones may well be told;
Yet this as pastime they behold.
And still their pleasure show,
At each increase of woe.
10 As spoil, my garments they divide:
By lots their portions they decide;
Therefore Thy arm extend,
And kind protection send.
From their sharp sword defend Thou me,
And let my life from danger free;
Nor leave my soul overpowered,
By dogs to be devoured.
11 To me, o god! Assistance send,
My life from lions fierce defend;
As once Thy strength prevailed,
When unicorns assailed,
Then to my brethren I’ll proclaim
The triumphs of Thy holy name;
And to the saints repair,
Thy glory to declare.
12 Praise ye the lord in songs divine,
Ye numerous race of Israel’s line;
To him with fervor pray,
And low obeisance pay:
His people he hath ne'er disdained,
Or turned his face when they complained;
But to their humble prayer,
Doth lend a gracious ear.
13 Thus in Thy courts, Thy name I’ll bless,
And in loud songs my thanks express;
And to Thy saints declare,
Thy providential care.
The meek companions of my grief,
Shall at my table find relief;
And all who seek Thy face,
Shall find refreshing grace.
14 Then shall the world their homage pay,
To God, and His commands obey;
His power they shall confess,
And prayers to him address.
From kings submission to receive,
In his supreme prerogative,
Who doth the worlds sustain;
And over all things reign.
15 The rich his bounty must confess,
The poor their generous patron bless;
To him they all resort,
For succor and support:
Then shall a race exalt his name,
And to their heirs his truth proclaim,
Till heaven and earth combined,
Are all to God resigned.