1 Thy injur'd cause, my great protector, plead;
And 'gainst invet'rate foes thy servant aid:
2 Arm, arm, put on the buckler and the shield;
3 Arm, arm, and meet them in th' embattl'd field;
O bid my soul to rid her of her fear;
Tell her, her great deliverer is near.
4 With bitter shame, with foul disgrace meet they,
Who with insidious snares beset my way;
In sure confusion all their schemes involve,
Whose vile invenom'd hearts my death resolve.
5 Let thy avenging angel press them close,
While they (like chaff, that, when the tempest blows,
Is driv'n far and wide) with terror fly;
Yet be no aid, no kind protector, nigh:
Their path be slipp'ry, and let night surround;
To death let thy avenging angel wound.
7 For, causeless, they their secret snares have laid;
Me to destroy, they lurk in ambuscade.
8 But let their hidden toils themselves ensnare,
Be theirs the ruin, they for me prepare.
9 Then shall my soul sincerely taste her joy;
Shall feel her happiness without alloy:
10 My bones shall cry; "my God, who's like to thee,
"That dost the humble from oppression free,
"That curb'st of lawless tyranny the pow'r,
"And bidst the broken heart to grieve no more?"
11 'Gainst me their cruel enmity not dies;
'Gainst me with cursed virulence they rise,
Lay to my charge unheard-of villainy,
And load my guiltless soul with infamy:
12 With bitter hatred all my friendship pay,
And my perdition work by night, by day.
13 Not so did I--when sickness sore opprest,
And hov'ring death their anguish'd hearts distrest,
In sackcloth I, in ashes for them moan'd;
For them I fasted, and for them I groan'd;
Quick flow'd my tears; to thee I prostrate pray'd,
That thou'dst not number them among the dead.
14 So, when a dear-lov'd friend or brother dies,
The soul sicere with killing anguish sighs,
With sorrow thus is pain'd the pious son,
The tender object of his duty gone.
15 Soon they repay'd me with ingratitude;
When swift calamity my steps pursued,
They all rejoic'd, and, at my mis'ries gay,
They danc'd, they revell'd, they kept holiday;
Their villain-feasts the very abjects join'd,
And there with them my ruin they design'd;
16 Yes; mere buffoons their vile associates were,
Who grinn'd their malice with an envious sneer.
17 But, Lord, how long wilt thou thy patience shew?
And view with seeming unconcern my woe?
From their destructive wiles relieve my soul:
Their cruel schemes, their vile attempts controul:
18 Then in the great assembly I will sing
Thy praise, and to thy glory tune the string.
19 O let not my inhuman foes rejoice,
Nor mock my mis'ries with insulting voice;
Nor seem by their deriding leers to boast,
That I thy favour and thy love have lost.
20 For peace they hate, with impious malice fraught,
Dire strife employs their tongue, and fills their thought;
And with their curst devices they conspire
'Gainst men of gentle mind, that peace desire;
21 At me loll out their tongues, and, flouting, say:
"Our eyes at length behold th' expected day."
22 This hast thou seen, O Lord; be still no more,
But shield me, guard me, by thy gracious pow'r;
23 To judgment now, O mighty God, awake;
Stir up thy vengeance, nor my cause forsake:
24 I to thy righteous justice make appeal;
Stop their proud boasts; their ill-tim'd triumphs quell:
25 No more let their big hearts insulting cry;
"He falls at length, and ours the victory:"
26 But since they made my miseries their boast,
In dire oblivion let their names be lost;
Since they, invetrate, my perdition sought,
Bring all their hopes, their flatt'ring views to nought.
27 While those dear souls, that wish'd my cause success,
Sincere delight, sublimest joy possess; So
Thy great beneficence, thy justice praise,
And sing thy glory in harmonious lays;
28 Then shall my tongue thy righteous pow'r display,
And hymn thy honour'd name the live-long day.