1 Thou, Lord, hast been our sure defence,
our place of ease and rest,
In all times past, yea, so long since
as cannot be exprest.
2 Before was made mountain or hill,
the earth and world abroad
From age to age, and always still
for ever thou art God.
3 Thou grindest man through grief and pain
to dust or clay, and then
Thou unto them dost say again,
Return ye sons of men.
4 The lasting of a thousand years,
what is it in thy sight?
As yesterday it doth appear,
or as a watch by night.
5 So soon as thou dost scatter them,
then is their life and trade
Ev'n as a sleep, or like the grass,
whose beauty soon doth fade,
6 Which in the morning shines full bright,
but fadeth suddenly,
And is cut down before the night,
all withered, dead, and dry.
7 For through thine anger we consume,
our might is much decay'd,
And of thy fervent wrath, O Lord,
we are full sore afraid.
8 The wicked works, that we have wrought,
thou sett'st before thy eye,
Our privy faults, yea all our thoughts
thy countenance doth spy.
9 For through thy wrath our days do waste,
thereof doth nought remain,
Our years consume as doth a blast,
and are not call'd again.
10 The time of our abode on earth
is threescore years and ten;
But if we come to fourscore years,
our life is grievous then:
The Second Part.
11 For of this time the strength and chief
we dote so much upon,
Is nothing else but pain and grief,
and we as blasts are gone.
12 What man doth know what power and
what might thy anger hath?
Or in his heart, who doth thee fear,
according to thy wrath?
13 Instruct us, Lord, to know and try
how long our days remain;
That so we may our hearts apply
true wisdom to attain.
14 Return, O Lord, how long wilt thou
in thy great wrath proceed?
Shew favour to thy servants now,
and help them at their need:
15 Refresh us with thy mercy soon,
then shall we joyful be;
All times so long as life doth last
in heart rejoice will we.
16 As thou hast plagued us before,
now also make us glad,
And for the years wherein full sore
affliction we have had.
17 O let thy work and pow'r appear,
and on thy servants light,
And shew unto thy children dear
thy glory and thy might:
18 Lord, let thy grace and glory stand
on us thy servants thus;
Confirm the works we take in hand,
and prosper them to us.
|First Line:||Thou, Lord, hast been our sure defence|