1 Blessèd are they that perfect are,
and pure in mind and heart;
Whose lives and conversations do
from God's laws ne'er depart.
2 Blessèd are they that give themselves
his statutes to observe,
Seeking the Lord with all their heart,
and never from him swerve,
3 Doubtless such men go not astray,
nor do a wicked thing,
But steadfastly walk in his way
without any wand'ring.
4 'Tis thy commandment and thy will,
that with attentive heed,
Thy precepts, which are most divine,
we learn and keep indeed.
5 O would to God it might thee please
my ways so to direct,
That I might always keep thy laws,
and never them reject!
6 So shall I not ashamèd be,
whilst I thus set my eyes,
And bend my mind always to muse
on thy decrees most wise.
7 Then will I praise with uptight heart,,
and magnify thy Name,
When I shall learn thy judgments just,
and also prove the same.
8 And wholly will I give myself
to keep thy laws most right:
Forsake me not for ever, Lord,
but show thy grace and might.
BETH. The Second Part.
9 By what means may a young man best
his life learn to amend?
If that he mark and keep thy word,
and therein his time spend.
10 Unfeignedly I have thee sought,
and thus seeking abide:
O never suffer me, O Lord,
from thy commands to slide.
11 Within my heart and secret thoughts
thy words I have hid still,
That I might not at any time
offend thy holy will.
12 We magnify thy Name, O Lord,
and praise thee evermore;
Thy statutes of most worthy fame,
O Lord, teach me therefore.
13 My lips have never ceased to preach
and publish day and night
The judgments all which did proceed
from thy mouth full of might.
14 Thy testimonies and thy ways
much more my heart rejoice,
Than all the treasures of the earth,
which worldlings make their choice.
15 Upon thy precepts I will muse,
and thereto frame my talk;
As at a mark, so will I aim
how I thy ways may walk.
16 My only joy shall be so fixed,
and on thy laws so set,
That nothing shall me so far blind,
that I thy words forget.
GIMEL. The Third Part.
17 Grant to thy servant now such grace,
as may my life prolong;
Thy holy word then will I keep
both in my heart and tongue.
18 My eyes, which are dim and shut up,
so open and make bright,
That of thy law and wondrous works
I may have the clear sight.
19 I am a stranger on the earth
wand'ring now here, now there
Thy word therefore to me disclose,
my footsteps for to clear.
20 My soul is ravished with desire,
and never is at rest,
But seeks to know thy judgments high,
and what may please thee best.
21 The proud and the malicious men
thou dost destroy each one,
And cursèd are such as do not
thy laws attend upon.
22 Lord, turn from me rebuke and shame,
which wicked men conspire,
For I have kept thy covenants
with zeal as hot as fire.
23 The princes great in council sat,
and did against me speak;
But then thy servant thought how he
thy statutes might not break.
24 For why? thy cov'nants are the joy
and solace of my heart,
They are my faithful counselors,
from them I'll not depart.
DALETH.The Fourth Part.
25 Alas! I am as brought to grave,
and almost turned to dust;
Therefore restore my life again,
as thy promise is just.
26 My ways when I acknowledgèd,
with mercy thou didst hear;
Hear now also, and me instruct
thy laws to love and fear.
27 Make me, O Lord, to understand
thy precepts evermore;
Then on thy works I'll meditate,
and lay them up in store.
28 My soul I feel so sore oppressed,
that it doth melt for grief;
According to thy word therefore
haste, Lord, to send relief.
29 From lying and deceitful lips
let thy grace me defend;
And that I may learn thee to love,
thy holy law me send.
30 The way of truth both straight and sure
I chosen have and found;
Before me I thy judgments set,
which keep me safe and sound.
31 Since then, O Lord, I readily
thy covenants embrace,
Let me therefore have no rebuke,
nor check in any case.
32 Then will I run most joyfully
where thy word doth me call,
When thou enlarged hast my heart,
and rid me out of thrall.
HE. The Fifth Part.
33 Instruct me, Lord, in the right way
of thy statutes divine,
And them to keep unto the end
my heart I will incline.
34 Grant me the knowledge of thy law,
and I shall it obey;
With heart and mind and all my might
I will it keep alway.
35 In the right paths of thy commands
guide me, Lord, I require;
No other pleasure do I wish,
no greater thing desire.
36 Incline mine heart thy laws to keep,
and cov'nants to embrace;
And from all filthy avarice,
Lord, shield me with thy grace.
37 From vain desires and worldly lusts
turn back my eyes and light,
And with thy Spirit strengthen me
to walk thy ways aright.
38 Confirm thy gracious promise, Lord,
which thou hast made to me,
Who am thy servant, and do love,
and nothing fear but thee.
39 Reproach and shame, which I do fear,
from me, O Lord, expel;
For thou dost judge with equity,
and therein dost excel.
40 Behold, my heart's desire is bent
thy laws to keep alway:
O strengthen me so with thy grace,
that it perform I may.
VAU. The Sixth Part.
41 Thy mercies great and manifold
let me obtain, O Lord;
Thy saving health let me enjoy,
according to thy word:
40 So shall I stop the sland'rous mouths
of lewd men and unjust,
For in thy faithful word is all
my confidence and trust.
43 The word of truth within my mouth
let evermore be pressed,
For in thy judgments wonderful
my hope doth always rest.
44 And whilst that breath within me doth
this mortal life preserve,
Yea, till this world shall be dissolved,
thy law will I observe.
45 So walk will I as set at large
from dread and danger free
Because I study how to keep
thy precepts faithfully:
46 Thy noble acts I will describe
as things of most great fame,
E'en before kings I will them blaze,
and shrink no whit for shame.
47 I will rejoice then to obey
thy just commands and will,
Which evermore I've loved best,
and so will love them still.
48 My hands I will lift to thy laws
which I have dearly sought,
And practice thy commandments all
in word, in deed and thought.
ZAIN.The Seventh Part.
49 Thy promise which thou mad'st to me,
remember, Lord, I pray;
For therein have I put my trust
and confidence alway.
50 It is my comfort and my joy,
when troubles me assail:
For were my life not by thy word,
it suddenly would fail.
51 The proud, and such as God contemn,
still make of me a scorn;
Yet will I not thy law forsake,
as if I were forlorn;
52 But call to mind, Lord, thy great works
showed to our fathers old,
Whereby I feel my joy surmount
my grief an hundred fold.
53 Horror hath taken hold on me,
because the wicked do
Forsake thy righteous law, and will
have no regard thereto.
54 But as for me, I framed my songs
thy statutes to exalt,
When I among the strangers dwelt,
and grief did me assault.
55 I thought upon thy Name, O Lord,
by night when others sleep;
Thy law also I kept always,
and ever will it keep.
56 This grace I did obtain, because
thy covenants most dear
I did embrace, and also keep
with reverence and fear.
CHETH. The Eighth Part.
57 O God, who art my part and lot,
my comfort and my stay,
I have decreed and promisèd
thy laws to keep alway.
58 With my whole heart I humbly sued
in presence of thy face;
As thou therefore hast promisèd,
Lord, grant to me thy grace.
59 My life I have examinèd,
and tried my secret heart,
Which to thy statutes caused me
my feet straight to convert.
60 I did not stay nor linger long,
as they that slothful are,
But hastily thy laws to keep
I did myself prepare;
61 The cruel bands of wicked men
have made of me their prey;
Yet would I not thy law forget,
nor from thee go astray.
62 Thy righteous laws and judgments are
so very great and high,
That e'en at midnight I will rise
Thy Name to magnify.
63 I am companion of all them
who fear thee in their heart;
O therefore grant 1 never may
from thy commandments start.
64 Thy mercies, Lord, most plenteously
the earth throughout do fill:
O teach me how I may obey
thy statutes and thy will.
TETH. The Ninth Part.
65 According to thy promise, Lord,
so hast thou with me dealt;
For of thy grace in sundry sorts
have I thy servant felt.
66 Teach me to judge always aright,
and give me knowledge sure;
For steadfastly I do believe
thy precepts are most pure.
67 Before that I afflicted was,
I erred and went astray;
But now I keep thy holy word,
and make it all my stay.
68 Thou art both good and gracious, Lord,
and in thy gifts most free:
Thy ordinances how to keep
therefore, O Lord, teach me.
69 The proud and the ungodly have
against me forged a lie;
Yet thy commandments still observe
with all my heart will I.
70 Their hearts are e'en like unto brawn,
which is exceeding fat;
But in thy law do I delight,
and nothing seek but that.
71 O happy time, may I well say,
when thou didst me correct!
That I thereby might learn thy laws,
and never them reject.
72 So that thy word and law to me
is dearer manifold,
Than gold and silver in great sums,
or ought that can be told.
JOD The Tenth Part.
73 Thy hands have made and fashioned me,
thy creature, Lord, am I;
Make me to understand thy law,
and keep it faithfully.
74 So they that fear thee shall rejoice
whenever they may see,
Because I've learned by thy word
to put my trust in thee.
75 I know, O Lord, thy judgments all
most just and righteous be,
And that in very faithfulness
thou hast afflicted me.
76 Now of thy goodness, I thee pray,
some comfort to me send,
And as thou hast me hitherto,
O Lord, still me defend.
77 Thy tender mercies pour on me,
then shall I surely live;
For joy and consolation both
thy law to me doth give.
78 Confound the proud who do me seek
perversely to destroy;
But as for me, thy laws to know,
I will myself employ.
79 Whoso with rev'rence do thee fear,
to me let them retire;
And such as know thy covenants,
and them alone desire.
80 My heart without all wavering
let on thy laws be bent,
That no confusion come to me,
nor any discontent.
CAPH The Eleventh Part.
81 My soul doth faint and ceaseth not
thy saving health to crave;
And for thy word's sake still I trust
my heart's desire to have.
82 My eyes do fail with looking for
thy word, and thus I say,
Oh, when wilt thou me comfort, Lord!
why dost thou thus delay?
83 Like as a bottle in the smoke,
so am I parched and dried:
Yet will I not out of my heart
let thy commandments slide.
84 How long, O Lord, shall I yet live
before I see the hour,
That on my foes which me torment
thy vengeance thou wilt pour?
85 Presumptuous men have dig-ed pits,
thinking to make me sure;
Thus quite contrary to thy law
my hurt they do procure.
86 But thy commandments are all true,
and causeless they me grieve;
To thee therefore I do complain,
that thou may'st me relieve.
87 Almost they had me clean destroyed,
and brought me quite to ground:
Yet by thy statutes I abode,
and therein succor found.
88 Restore me, Lord, again to life;
thy mercies do excel;
And so shall I thy statutes keep,
till death my life expel.
LAMED. The Twelfth Part.
89 In heav'n, O Lord, where thou dost dwell,
thy word is stablished sure,
And shall to all eternity
fast settled there endure.
90 From age to age thy truth abides,
as doth the earth witness;
Whose ground-work thou hast laid so sure
as no tongue can express.
91 E'en to this day we may well see
how thou dost them preserve,
According to thy ordinance;
for all things do thee serve.
92 Had it not been that in thy law
my soul had comfort sought;
Long time ere now in my distress
I had been brought to naught.
93 Therefore will I thy precepts keep
in memory full fast,
Because that thou by them, O Lord
my life restorèd hast.
94 No man to me can title make,
for I am only thine;
Save me therefore, for to thy laws
my ears and heart incline.
95 The wicked men that seek my bane,
for me do lie in wait:
But I will meditate upon
thy testimonies great:
96 For nothing in this world I see
which hath at length no end;
But thy commandments and thy word
beyond all time extend.
MIM. The Thirteenth Part.
97 What great desire and fervent love
unto thy law I bear!
On it my daily study is,
that so I may thee fear.
98 Thy words have taught me to exceed
in wisdom ail my foes;
For they are ever with me, and
do give me sweet repose.
99 My teachers who did me instruct
in knowledge I excel;
Because I do thy statutes keep,
and them to others tell.
100 In wisdom I do far surpass
the ancient men also;
And that because I keep thy laws,
and so resolve to do.
101 My feet I have refrained likewise
from ev'ry evil way;
That so I might thy word observe
and keep without delay.
102 I have not from thy judgments swerved
nor shrunk, as thou canst tell;
Because thou hast me taught thereby
to live godly and well.
103 O Lord, how sweet unto my taste
I find thy words alway!
Doubtless, no honey in my mouth
doth taste so sweet as they.
104 Thy laws have me such wisdom learned,
that I do hate therefore
All wicked and ungodly ways,
and will do evermore.
NUN. The Fourteenth Part.
105 E'en as a lantern to my feet,
so doth thy word shine bright,
And to my paths where I do go
it is a flaming light.
106 I have both sworn and will perform
in truth and faithfulness,
That I will keep thy judgments just,
and them in life express.
107 Affliction hath me sore oppressed,
and brought me to death's door:
O Lord, as thou hast promisèd.
so me to life restore.
108 The free-will off'rings of my mouth,
which I to thee do give,
Accept, and teach me how I may
after thy judgments live.
109 My soul is ever in my hand,
great dangers me assail;
Yet do I not thy law forget,
nor it to keep will fail.
110 Although the wicked laid their nets
to make of me a prey,
Yet from thy precepts did I not
once swerve or go astray.
111 Thy law, O Lord, I taken have
my heritage to be;
Because such great delight and joy
it doth afford to me.
112 For evermore I have been bent
thy statutes to fulfill,
E'en so likewise unto the end
I will continue still.
SAMECH. The Fifteenth Part.
113 All thoughts that vain and wicked are
I do always detest;
But for thy precepts and thy laws,
I ever love them best.
114 Thou art my hid and secret place,
my shield and strong defense;
Therefore have I thy promises
looked for with confidence.
115 Therefore ye evil doers all,
away from me be gone;
For the commandments will I keep
of God my Lord alone.
116 As thou hast promised, so perform
that I may live and be
Never ashamed of the hope
which thou hast given me.
117 Uphold me, and I shall be safe
for ought they do or say,
And in thy statutes pleasure take
I will both night and day.
118 Under thy feet thou hast trod such
as do thy statutes break;
For naught avails their subtlety,
their counsels are too weak.
119 Like dross thou cast'st the wicked out
Wherever they do dwell;
Therefore can I as thy commands
love nothing half so well.
120 My flesh doth quake for fear of thee,
my soul is much dismayed;
By reason of thy judgments great
my heart is sore afraid.
AIN. The Sixteenth Part.
121 I do the thing that lawful is,
and give to all men right;
Resign me not to them that would
oppress me with their might.
122 But for thy servant surety be
in that thing which is right;
And never let the proud oppress
me with their rage and spite.
123 My eyes do fail with waiting for
thy health which I do crave;
And for thy righteous promise, Lord,
whereby thou wilt me save.
124 Entreat thy servant lovingly,
and favor to him show;
And thy commands most excellent
teach me also to know.
125 Thy humble servant, Lord, I am,
grant me to understand
How by thy statutes I may know
best what to take in hand.
126 It is now time, Lord, to begin,
for truth doth quite decay;
Thy law likewise they have made void,
and none doth it obey.
127 This is the cause wherefore I love
thy laws much more than gold,
Or jewels fine, which are esteemed
most costly to be sold.
128 I thought thy precepts all most just,
and so them kept in store;
All crafty and malicious ways
I greatly do abhor.
PE. The Seventeenth Part.
129 Thy covenants are wonderful,
and full of things profound;
My soul therefore doth keep them sure,
when they are tried and found.
130 The entrance of thy word doth give
to men a light most dear;
The simple likewise understand
when they it read or hear.
131 My mouth I opened and did pant,
because my soul did long
For thy commandments, which always
do guide my heart and tongue.
132 With mercy and compassion look
upon me from above,
As thou art wont such to behold
as thy Name fear and love.
133 Direct my footsteps by thy word,
that I thy will may know
And never let iniquity
thy servant overthrow.
134 From sland'rous tongues and deadly harms
preserve and keep me sure;
Thy precepts then will I observe,
with heart upright and pure.
135 Thy countenance, which doth surpass
the sun in its bright hue,
Let shine on me, and by thy law
teach me what to eschew.
136 Rivers of waters from my eyes
incessantly do fall,
Because I see how wicked men
thy laws keep not at all.
ZADE. The Eighteenth Part.
137 In ev'ry thing. Lord, thou art just,
although the wicked grudge;
And when thou dost sentence pronounce,
thou art a righteous Judge.
138 To render right, and free from guile,
are two chief points most high;
And such as thou hast in thy law
commanded us strictly.
139 My zeal hath e'en consumèd me,
and I am pined away,
Because my foes thy word forget,
and will it not obey.
140 Thy word is very pure, and doth
greatly my heart rejoice;
Therefore thy servant nothing more
can love or make my choice.
141 And though I be nothing set by,
as one of base degree;
Yet do I not thy laws forget,
nor shrink away from thee.
142 Thy truth and righteousness, O Lord,
for ever shall endure;
Also thy 1aw is truth itself,
most constant and most pure.
143 Anguish and grief have seized on me,
and brought me very low;
Yet all thy precepts do I still
delight to hear and know.
144 The righteousness of thy commands
doth last for evermore;
Then teach them me, because in them
my life lies up in store.
KOPH. The Nineteenth Part.
145 With fervent heart I called and cried,
now answer me, O Lord,
That thy commandments to observe
I fully may accord.
146 To thee, my God, I make my suit,
save me, I humbly pray;
Thy testimonies then will I
always keep and obey.
147 To thee do I cry in the morn
before the day appear;
For in thy word I put my trust,
and thee alone do fear:
148 My eyes prevent the night-watches,
before they call, I wake,
That meditating on thy word,
I might some comfort take.
149 Incline thine ear to hear my voice,
and pity on me take;
As thou wast wont, so quicken me,
lest life should me forsake.
150 My foes draw near, and greedily
do after mischief run;
Far from thy law they are gone back,
and wickedly it shun.
151 Therefore, O Lord, approach thou near,
since need doth so require;
For all thy precepts are most true,
then help, I thee desire.
152 Concerning thy commandments I
have learnèd long ago,
That they remain for evermore,
thou hast them grounded so.
RESH. The Twentieth part.
153 My trouble and affliction, Lord,
consider and behold;
Deliver me, for of thy law
I ever take fast hold.
154 Defend my good and righteous cause,
with speed some succor send;
From death, as thou hast promisèd,
Lord, ever me defend.
155 As for the wicked, they are far
from saving health and grace;
Because the way thy laws to know
they enter not the trace.
156 Great are thy mercies, Lord, I grant;
what tongue can them explain?
According to thy judgments good
let me my life obtain.
157 Though many men did trouble me,
and persecute me sore,
Yet from thy laws I never shrunk,
nor went aside therefore.
158 The great transgressors I behold,
which is a grief to me,
Because they do not keep thy word,
nor ever seek to thee.
159 Behold how I do love thy laws
with a most upright heart!
Then quicken me, O Lord, for thou
most good and gracious art.
160 Thy word from the beginning hath
been ever true and just,
Thy righteous judgments ev'ry one
always continue must.
SCHIN. The Twenty-first Part.
161 Princes have persecuted me
without a cause; but saw
It was in vain, for of thy word
my heart did stand in awe.
162 And surely of thy word I was
more joyful and more glad,
Than he that of rich spoils and prey
great store and plenty had.
163 But as for lies and falsities,
them I hate and detest;
Because thy holy law I do
above all things love best.
164 Seven times a day I praise thee, Lord,
singing with heart and voice;
Because thy righteous judgments do
greatly my heart rejoice.
165 Great peace and rest shall all such have
as do thy statutes love;
No danger shall their quiet state
impair or once remove.
166 My only health and comfort, Lord,
I look for at thy hand;
And therefore have I done those things
which thou didst me command.
167 Thy laws have been my exercise,
which my soul most desired;
So much to them my love was bent,
that naught else I required.
168 Thy statutes and commandments I
have kept with heart upright;
For all my doings and my ways
are present in thy sight.
TAU. The Twenty-second Part.
169 O Lord, let my complaint and cry
before thy face appear;
And as thou hast me promise made,
so teach me thee to fear.
170 O let my supplication, Lord,
have free access to thee;
And let me be delivered,
as thou hast promised me.
171 Then shall my lips thy praises speak
after most ample sort,
When thou thy statutes hast me taught,
wherein stands my comfort.
172 My tongue shall freely preach thy word,
and evermore confess,
Thy famous acts and noble laws
are truth and righteousness.
173 Stretch out thy hand, I thee beseech,
and speedily me save;
For thy commandments to observe,
chosen, O Lord, I have.
174 Of thee alone, Lord, I crave health,
for other I know none;
And in thy law to meditate,
I do delight alone.
175 Grant me therefore long days to live,
thy Name to magnify;
And of thy judgments wonderful
let me the favor try.
176 For I was lost and went astray
e'en like a wand'ring sheep;
O seek me, for I have not failed
thy statutes for to keep.
Source: The whole book of Psalms: collected into English metre #CXIX