1 Resolv'd to watch o'er all my Ways,
I kept my tongue in Awe;
I curb'd my hasty Words, when I
the prosp'rous Wicked saw.
2 Like one that's dumb, I silent stood,
and did my Tongue refrain
From good Discourse; but that Restraint
increas'd my inward Pain.
3 My Heart did glow, which working Tho'ts
did hot and restless make;
And warm Reflections fann'd the Fire,
till thus at length I spake:
4 Lord, let me know my Term of Days,
how soon my Life will end;
The num'rous Train of Ills disclose,
which this frail State attend.
5 My Life, Thou know'st, is but a Span;
a Cypher sums my Years;
And ev'ry Man, in best Estate,
but Vanity appears.
6 Man, like a Shadow, vainly walks,
with fruitless Cares oppress'd:
He heaps up Wealth, but cannot tell
by whom 'twill be possess'd.
7 Why then should I on worthless Toys,
with anxious Care, attend?
On Thee alone my stedfast Hope
shall ever, Lord, depend.
8,9 Forgive my Sins; nor let me scorn'd
by foolish Sinners be;
For I was dumb, and murmur'd not,
because 'twas done by Thee.
10 The dreadful Burden of thy Wrath
in Mercy soon remove;
Lest my frail Flesh too weak to bear
the heavy Load should prove.
11 For when thou chast'nest Man for Sin,
Thou mak'st his Beauty fade
(So vain a Thing is he!) like Cloth
by fretting Moths decay'd.
12 Lord, hear my Cry, accept my Tears,
and listen to my Pray'r,
Who sojourn like a Stranger here,
as all my Fathers were.
13 O! spare me yet a little Time;
my wasted Strength restore,
Before I vanish quite from hence,
and shall be seen no more.