Keep silence, all ye sons of men,
and hear with rev’rence due;
Eternal Wisdom from above
thus lifts her voice to you:
I was th’ Almighty’s chief delight
from everlasting days,
Ere yet his arm was stretched forth
the heav’ns and earth to raise.
Before the sea began to flow,
and leave the solid land,
Before the hills and mountains rose,
I dwelt at his right hand.
When first he reared the arch of heav’n,
and spread the clouds on air,
When first the fountains of the deep
he opened, I was there.
There I was with him, when he stretched
his compass o’er the deep,
And charged the ocean’s swelling waves
within their bounds to keep.
With joy I saw th’ abode prepared
which men were soon to fill:
Them from the first of days I loved,
unchanged, I love them still.
Now therefore hearken to my words,
ye children, and be wise:
Happy the man that keeps my ways;
the man that shuns them dies.
Where dubious paths perplex the mind,
direction I afford;
Life shall be his that follows me
and favour from the Lord.
But he who scorns my sacred laws
shall deeply wound his heart,
He courts destruction who contemns
the counsel I impart.
Scottish Psalter and Paraphrases