1 O Lord my God, whom my defence I've made,
When persecuting foes my life invade,
'Gainst their insidious schemes that life defend,
And in the threat'ning danger stand my friend.
2 For like the savage monarch of the wood,
Whose sport is slaughter, and whose thirst is blood,
If thou not aidst me with thy saving pow'r,
Their cruel jaws thy servant will devour.
3 And yet, O Lord, if I've th' offender been,
If I've not kept my hands from rapine clean;
4 If, when my friend my int'rest has pursued,
I've paid his friendship with ingratitude;
(But sure a nobler way I always chose,
And oft from ruin have redeem'd my foes)
5 'Gainst me let my fierce enemy succeed,
Down in the earth my mangled carcase tread,
Be on the vile ingrate, severely just,
And lay my tarnish'd honours in the dust.
6 But thou, O Lord, in thy dread anger rise;
O not my humble, ardent suit, despise;
In all thy awful majesty array'd,
Call forth thy vengeance to thy servant's aid.
7 So shall the people tremble at thy pow'r,
And thee their king, and thee their God, adore.
8 O thou, the sov'reign judge of all mankind,
Let me, as I am guiltless, mercy find,
Let my integrity thy pity move;
9 While my remorseless foes thy justice prove;
Thou triest the reins, the heart--thy searching eye
The soul's most secret purpose can descry.
10 But why their bitter enmity I fear,
When safely guarded by th' almighty's care;
That gracious being that defends the good,
And pours destruction on the impious proud?
12 If still perversely they resist his word,
Lo! the all-high draws his avenging sword!
See! his bow ready bent, his arrows fly;
The wounded sinners feel his wrath, and die.
14 Such the result of wickedness like theirs!
With sin they travail, and they bring forth tears;
Big with delusive hopes of mighty gains,--
Death's the reward of their accursed pains.
15 For me they made a pit in vain they made;
To the same pit they are themselves betray'd;
16 On their own heads their threat'ned mischiefs fall;
In their own snares involv'd, they perish all.
17 Therefore to heav'n's high Lord, in songs of praise,
Freed from their toils, my tuneful voice I'll raise;
The just, the righteous God I'll, grateful, sing,
And ever hymn the universal king.