1 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place,
a rest in tribulations,
to us, thine own redeemed race,
through all our generations.
Thou, ere the mountains sprang to birth,
or ever thou hadst formed the earth,
art God from everlasting.
2 Thou turnest man again to clay;
by thee that doom was spoken;
as with a torrent borne away,
gone like a sleep when broken.
A thousand years are in the sight
but as a watch amid the night,
or yesterday departed.
3 At morn we flourish like the grass,
when green and fresh it groweth,
which, withered ere the evening pass,
the sweeping sickle moweth.
Thus do thy chastisements consume
our blasted hopes, our early bloom,
we fade at thy displeasure.
4 Lo! thou hast set before thine eyes
all our misdeeds and errors;
our secret sins from darkness rise
to thy confronting terrors.
At thy rebuke, cut short by death,
our life is like the transient breath,
that told a bygone story.
5 Our days are three-score years and ten;
ten more man's strength may borrow;
but if the span be lengthened then
that strength is toil and sorrow;
for soon arrives the closing hour:
but who discern thy fearful power,
proportioned to thine anger?
6 Lord, teach us so to count our days,
that we may prize them duly,
and set our heart on wisdom's ways,
that we may praise thee truly.
Return, thy servants' griefs behold,
and with thy mercy, as of old,
O, satisfy us early!
7 restore us comfort for our fears,
joy for our long affliction;
our children give through changing years
Thy glorious beauty, Lord, reveal;
and with thy prospering favour seal
thy servants and their labours.