1 Benign O hear me; save me, gracious God;
Sinks my sad soul in grief's o'erwhelming flood;
2 In the deep mire my feet unfirmly tread;
The threat'ning billows compass round my head;
3 My sapless jaws are shrunk with constant cries;
Deny their wonted aid my weaken'd eyes;
4 Far more in number than my countless hair,
The foes that bear me ceaseless hatred, are;
Each day in number still these foes increase,
And on my rights with ravenous hand they seize.
5 Thou know'st, O Lord, my innocence of heart;
A witness to my guileless soul thou art;
6 Let not my woes affect the good with shame,
Who know I'm wretched, 'cause I love thy name.
7 For thee I've borne this mis'ry, this disgrace,
For thee dishonour overspreads my face.
8 My brothers shun me, and my presence fly
My mother's sons, as if an alien I.
9 With zeal I burn, to see thy hallow'd house
Profan'd, to hear despis'd the solemn vows:
From their vile mouths the blasphemies that fall,
With bitt'rest anguish wring my tortur'd soul.
10 I weep, I fail, or feed upon my tears,
While they, insulting, mock my pious cares;
11 In humbling sackcloth when my limbs are clad,
A tale, a proverb, and a jest, I'm made:
12 The beggars at the gate my mis'ries flout,
And I'm the sing-song of the drunken rout.
13 But tho' thro' grief I feel a strong decay,
Thee still, dread father, will I make my stay;
I'll on thy justice, on thy love depend,
For thou art ever to the good a friend.
14 O free me, free me, from this miry clay;
O chace my causeless, cruel foes away;
15 My soul, from sinking in the waters, keep;
O save me from the horrors of the deep.
16 Hear me, my God; thy mercy's still the same,
And in that mercy I protection claim.
17 On thee relying, I to thee have pray'd,
Turn not thy face, but grant a timely aid:
18 Propitious come; redeem my sinking soul;
The horrid counsels of my foes controul.
19 Thou know'st, O God, the infamy, the shame,
From them I've suffer'd, 'cause I love thy name:
20 Griev'd my pain'd heart; yet none wou'd share my grief,
No friend consol'd me, or wou'd give relief.
21 For food I ask'd; they mix'd with gall my meat;
For drink, and aconite they 'fore me set;
22 O be their tables to themselves a snare;
O turn their plans for peace to fatal war,
23 Darken their eyes, that they no longer see;
Weak be their loins; their bodies languid be:
24 On them the fury of thine anger pour;
Bear they thy vengeance, till they breathe no more;
25 Their homes with no inhabitant be blest,
And in their tents let rav'ning bestials rest;
26 For they've insulted those who feel thy wrath;
And with their taunts have wounded, worse than death;
17 Crime let them add to crime, that they mayn't know
The blest effects that from thy mercy flow:
28 Their impious names let not life's volumes hold;
And with the righteous be they not enroll'd.
29 But poor, afflicted, indigent am I;
Raise me, O God, and set me safe on high;
30 Then I in honour of thy name will sing,
And to thy glory fit the trembling string.
31 More grateful this, than if th' attoning blood
Of horned victim on thy altar flow'd.
32 This shall the humble see with pious joy,
And in glad praise their faithful hearts employ.
33 For hears the Lord the poor; he'll not despise
His pray'r, who for his name in bondage sighs.
34 Praise him, O earth and seas and heav'ns above
And all in earth, in sea, in air, that move;
Sion he'll save, and Judah cities build
So strong, that not to force, to time, they'll yield;
36 Her fertile lands his people shall enjoy,
And leave them to their off-spring when they die;
Their off-spring, who, like them, shall long possess,
While him they serve, their rich domains in peace.