1 Except the Lord the house doth make,
and thereunto doth set his hand,
What men do build, it cannot stand;
likewise in vain men undertake
cities and holds to watch and ward,
except the Lord be their safeguard.
2 Though in the morn ye rise early,
and so at night go late to bed,
Eating with carefulness your bread,
your labor is but vanity:
But they whom God doth love and keep,
enjoy all things with quiet sleep.
3 Therefore mark well when ye do see
that men have hearts t'enjoy their land
It is the gift of God's own hand:
For God doth multiply to thee
Of his great liberality,
the blessing of posterity.
4 And when the children come to age,
they grow in strength and activeness,
In person and in comeliness:
So that a shaft shot with courage
Of one that hath a most strong arm,
flies not so swift, nor doth like harm.
5 Oh, well is he that hath his quiver
furnished with such artillery:
For when in peril he shall be,
such one shall never quake or shiver,
When he doth plead before the judge
against his foes that bear him grudge.