1 Against all those that strive with me,
O Lord, assert my right;
With such as war unjustly wage,
Do thou my battles fight.
2 Thy buckler take, and bind thy shield
Upon thy warlike arm:
Stand up, my God, in my defence,
And keep me safe from harm.
3 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."
4 Let them with shame be cover'd o'er,
Who my destruction sought;
And such as did my harm devise
Be to confusion brought.
5 Then shall they fly, dispers'd like chaff
Before the driving wind;
God's vengeful minister of wrath
Shall follow close behind.
6 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.
7 Since, unprovok'd by any wrong,
They hid their treach'rous snare;
And for my harmless soul a pit
Did without cause prepare.
8 Surpris'd by mischiefs unforeseen,
By their own arts betray'd,
Their feet shall fall into the net,
Which they for me have laid.
9 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.
10 My very bones shall say, "O Lord,
"Who can compare with thee?
"Who sett'st the poor and helpless man
"From strong oppressors free."
11 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.
12 The good which I to them had done,
With evil they repaid;
And did, by malice undeserv'd,
My harmless life invade.
13 But as for me, when they were sick,
I still in sackcloth mourn'd;
I pray'd and fasted, and my pray'r
To my own breast return'd.
14 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.
15 How diff'rent did their carriage prove,
In times of my distress!
When they in crouds, together met,
Did savage joy express!
16 The rabble too, in num'rous throngs,
By their example, came;
And ceas'd not with reviling words
To wound my spotless fame.
17 Scoffers, that noble tables haunt,
And earn their bread with lies,
Did gnash their teeth, and sland'rous jests
18 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.
19 So I, before the list'ning world,
Shall grateful thanks express;
And, where the great assembly meets,
Thy name with praises bless.
20 Lord, suffer not my causeless foes
Who me unjustly hate,
With open joy,or secret signs,
To mock my sad estate.
21 For they, with hearts averse from peace,
Against the men of quiet minds
To forge malicious lies.
22 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."
23 But thou, who dost both them and me
With righteous eyes survey,
Assert my innocence, O Lord,
And keep not far away.
24 Stir up thyself; in my behalf,
To judgment, Lord, awake:
Thy righteous servant's cause, O God,
To thy decision take.
25 Lord, as my heart has upright been,
Let me thy justice find;
Nor let my cruel foes obtain
The triumph they design'd.
26 O! let them not amongst themselves,
In boasting language, say,
"At length our wishes are complete;
"At last he's made our prey."
27 Let such as in my harm rejoic'd,
For shame their faces hide;
And foul dishonour wait on those
That proudly me defy'd:
28 Whilst they with cheerful voices shout,
Who my just cause befriend;
And bless the Lord, who loves to make
Success his saints attend.
29 So shall my tongue thy judgments sing,
Inspir'd with grateful joy;
And cheerful hymns in praise of thee,
Shall all my days employ.
Source: The Psalms of David: with hymns and spiritual songs: also, the catechism, confession of faith, and liturgy of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands #35