1 The man is blest that doth provide
For such as needy be;
For in the season perilous
The Lord will set him free;
2 And he will keep him safe, and make
Him happy in the land,
And not deliver him into
His enemies' strong hand.
3 And from his bed of languishing
The Lord will him restore;
For thou, O Lord, wilt turn to health
His sickness and his sore.
4 Then in my sickness thus said I,
Have mercy, Lord, on me;
And heal my soul, which grieved is
That I offended thee.
5 My foes did wish me ill in heart,
And thus of me did say,
When shall he die, that so his name
May perish quite away?
6 And when they come to visit me,
Then ask if I do well;
But in their hearts they mischief hatch,
And then abroad it tell.
7 All they that hate me do conspire
Against me craftily,
And still devise how to procure
My hurt and misery.
8 Some grievous sin hath brought him to
This sickness, say they plain;
He is so low, that, without doubt,
He cannot rise again.
9 The man also that I did trust,
With me did use deceit;
Who at my table did eat bread,
The same for me laid wait.
10 Have mercy, Lord, on me therefore,
And let me be preserv'd,
That I may render unto them
The things they have deserv'd.
11 By this I know assuredly
I am belov'd of thee;
Because my foes no power have
To triumph over me.
12 But in my right thou hast me kept,
And it maintained well;
And in thy presence place assigned
Where I shall ever dwell.
13 The Lord, the God of Israel,
Be praised evermore;
E'en so be it, Lord, will I say;
Praise ye the Lord therefore.
Happy the Man, whose tender care
relieves the poor distressed;
When troubles compass him around,
the Lord shall give him rest.
The Lord his life, with blessings crowned,
in safety shall prolong,
And disappoint the will of those
that seek to do him wrong.
If he in languishing estate
oppress with sickness lie;
The Lord will easy make his bed,
and inward strength supply.
Secure of this, to Thee, my God,
I thus my prayer addressed:
"Lord, for thy mercy, heal my soul,
"though I have much transgressed.
My cruel Foes, with slanderous words,
attempt to wound my fame.
"When shall he die, (say they) and men
"forget his very name?
Suppose they formal visits make,
'tis all but empty show,
They gather mischief in their hearts,
and vent it where they go.
With private whispers, such as these,
to hurt me they devise
"A sore disease afflicts him now,
"he's fallen, no more to rise.
My own familiar bosom-friend
on whom I most relied,
Has me, whose daily guest he was,
with open scorn defied.
But Thou, my sad and wretched state,
in mercy, Lord, regard;
And raise me up, that all their crimes
may meet their just reward.
By this, I know, Thy gracious ear
is open when I call.
Because thou sufferest not my foes
to triumph in my fall.
Thy tender care secures my life
from danger and disgrace
And Thou vouchsafest to set me still
before thy glorious face.
Let therefore Israel's Lord and God
from age to age be blessed,
And all the people's glad applause
with loud Amens expressed.
Blest who with gen'rous pity glows,
Who learns to feel another's woes,
Bows to the poor man's want his ear,
And wipes the helpless orphan's tear:
Who to th'afflicted gives relief,
And kindly soothes each anxious grief;
In ev'ry want, in ev'ry woe,
Himself thy pity, Lord, shall know;
Thy love his life shall guard, thy hand
Give to his lot the chosen land,
Nor leave him in the dreadful day
To unrelenting foes a prey.
When languid with disease and pain,
Thou, Lord, his spirit wilt sustain,
Prop with thine arm his sinking head,
And turn with tend'rest care his bed.
O let me, Lord, thy mercy share,
(Thus to my God I form'd the pray'r,)
Health to my fainting soul dispense,
That humbled owns its dire offence.
"When shall he perish?" Thus my foes
With ruthless tongue their wish disclose;
"Why lingers Death's appointed hour
Oblivion on his name to pour?"
The hostile visitants appear
Beside my couch, and drop the tear,
Though, feigning, o'er my griefs they mourn,
Their hearts with secret malice burn.
See them, scarce parted from my gate,
Aloud proclaim their settled hate;
Now pleas'd they form some dark design,
Now whisp'ring thus in curses join:
"Still may the guilt unpurg'd remain,
That binds him on the bed of pain;
Nor let him from that bed arise,
But close in endless sleep his eyes."
Yea thou, the friend to whom my heart
Its inmost counsels wont t'impart,
Ev'n thou, in subtlety disguis'd,
The man whom chief of friends I priz'd;
For whom the social board I spread,
And broke with lib'ral hand my bread,
With lifted heel, (severe return!)
The partner of thy breast couldst spurn.
Maker of all! be thou my guard:
Give me, (my strength by thee repair'd,)
Give me to teach the faithless band
To own the justice of thy hand.
So, while my pray'rs indulg'd approve
My soul the object of thy love,
My foes, with inward anguish torn,
Shall each his blasted triumphs mourn;
And I (for thou thy aid shalt yield,)
In innocence of heart upheld
Thy courts shall ever tread, and there
The fulness of thy presence share.
O thankful bless th'Almighty Lord,
The God by Jacob's sons ador'd;
With joyful hearts his love proclaim,
And praise, O praise, his holy name.
His fame, e'er time its course began,
O'er Heav'n's wide region echoing ran;
To him through endless ages raise
One song of oft-repeated praise.
Metrical paraphrase by Isaac Watts
1 Blest is the man whose bowels move,
And melt with pity to the poor,
Whose soul, by sympathising love,
Feels what his fellow-saints endure.
2 His heart contrives, for their relief,
More good than his own hands can do!
He, in the time of general grief,
Shall find the Lord has bowels too.
3 His soul shall live secure on earth,
With secret blessings on his head,
When drought, and pestilence, and dearth,
Around him multiply their dead.
4 Or if he languish on his couch,
God will pronounce his sins forgiv'n,
Will save him with a healing touch,
Or take his willing soul to heav'n.