1 O gracious God, why standest thou afar?
Why not thy poor afflicted servant hear?
2 The impious atheist persecutes the just;
His own insidious arts he makes his trust:
Shall he his vile insidious arts enjoy,
And wilt not thou the villain brood destroy?
3 See, how he glories in his wild desires,
And loves the man whom vain ambition sires:
4 Big with his hopes, with high presumption fraught,
Thee he denies, thou art not in his thought!
5 Secure in fancied happiness he lives;
To thy dread vengeance bold defiance gives;
With haughty scorn looks wrathful on his foes,
And madly bids them all his schemes oppose.
6 "Your efforts all, (he proudly cries) are vain;
"To life's last: verge my pow'r I will maintain,
"No care, no anguish, shall corrode my breast;
"No pain, no sickness, shall destroy my rest;
"In all the blessings of this earth I'll flow,
"And brave the highest vengeance of the foe."
From his vile mouth continual curses fly;
He smiles at perjury, adores a lie,
Thinks it his highest honour, to deceive,
And is in rapture, when the righteous grieve.
8 In the dark corners of the street he lies,
With wond'rous skill prepares his treacheries,
T' entrap the good, he spends the live-long night;
The good, the constant objects of his spite.
9 As skulks the lion in his den, and waits,
Till in his jaws some heedless beast he gets;
So crouches he, so lurks in ambuscade,
The blood of helpless innocence to shed;
With what malignant joy the traitor smiles,
When once they're hamper'd in his wily toils?
11 All this he does, and blasphemously proud,
That thou regard'st him not, exults aloud;
Boasts, thou his impious projects wilt not see;
That right and wrong are all the same to thee.
12 Arise, O God, lift thy avenging hand,
Nor let the poor in vain thy aid demand,
13 Why shou'd the wicked thus thy wrath despise?
Thou carest not for man, prophane he cries.
14 Sure thou hast heard his boast, and seen his rage;
The good man's cause thy justice will engage;
To thee the humble plead for swift redress;
Implore thy mercy in their deep distress;
Own thy omnipotence, thy right divine,
And that to punish wickedness is thine.
15 Break then his arm, O Lord, confound his pow'r;
Destroy his schemes, that he may rage no more;
Make all his vile imaginations vain,
Nor let his crimes disturb our peace again.
16 Then shalt thou have o'er all eternal sway;
With humble awe thy people shall obey;
The madness of the heathen then shall cease,
And all thy righteous servants dwell in peace.
17 Thus of the injur'd poor, the pious pray'r,
All-clement God, thou condescend'st to hear;
To thee they weep, to thee they cry, amain,
Nor are their pious pray'rs addrest in vain:
18 That of th' afflicted thou assert the right
Against th' injustice of the man of might;
That he, abas'd his pride, controul'd his pow'r,
May be the scourge of innocence no more.