1 Keep silence, all ye sons of men,
and hear with rev’rence due;
eternal Wisdom from above
thus lifts her voice to you:
2 I was th’ Almighty’s chief delight
from everlasting days,
ere yet his arm was stretched forth
the heav’ns and earth to raise.
3 Before the sea began to flow,
and leave the solid land,
before the hills and mountains rose,
I dwelt at his right hand.
4 When first he reared the arch of heav’n,
and spread the clouds on air,
when first the fountains of the deep
he open'd, I was there.
5 There I was with him, when he stretch'd
his compass o’er the deep,
and charg'd the ocean’s swelling waves
within their bounds to keep.
6 With joy I saw th’ abode prepar'd
which men were soon to fill:
them from the first of days I lov'd,
unchang'd, I love them still.
7 Now therefore hearken to my words,
ye children, and be wise:
happy the man that keeps my ways;
the man that shuns them dies.
8 Where dubious paths perplex the mind,
direction I afford;
life shall be his that follows me
and favour from the Lord.
9 But he who scorns my sacred laws
shall deeply wound his heart,
he courts destruction who contemns
the counsel I impart.
Traditionally used for Montgomery's text and for Peter Abelard's "Alone Thou Goest Forth, O Lord," BANGOR comes from William Tans'ur's A Compleat Melody: or the Harmony of Syon (the preface of which is dated 1734). In that collection the tune was a three-part setting for Psalm 12 (and for Psalm 11 i…