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 safe-guard.
2 Tho' 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
furnish'd 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.