1 Shepherd of Israel, bow Thine ear;
O Thou, our prayer indulgent hear,
Who Joseph’s pasture hast prepared,
His guide by day, by night his guard;
Betwixt the cherubs seated high;
Glad with Thy beams our longing eyes!
2 With all who from Manasses claim
Their birth, and all of Ephraim’s name,
Each hostile power by Thee o’erthrown,
Let Benjamin Thy presence own!
How long, great God, shall Israel see
Thy wrath, nor bend the stubborn knee?
3 Behold a vine from Egypt’s land,
Transplanted by Thy fostering hand.
Behold in Canaan’s shores her bed
By Thee prepare, her root outspread
Far as the utmost coast extends,
While o’er the hills her shade extends.
4 Her branches, towering to the skies,
With healthful stem conspicuous rise,
Round the tall cedar’s loftiest boughs
Her covering veil entwined she throws;
And, strengthened by Thy power, defies
Each storm that rends the wintry skies.
5 Long cherished by Thy care she stood;
Here, verging toward th’Assyrian flood,
In circuit wide the earth she crowned,
And there, the ocean marked her bound.
But now, in sad reverse (ah, why?)
By Thee o’erthrown the fences lie.
6 The fruit exposed beside the way,
To each rapacious band a prey;
The savage boar with restless toil
Uproots it from the loosened soil,
And every monster of the wood
Crops from the branch his obvious food.
7 Leader of hosts, and Israel’s Lord!
Return; Thy succors oft implored
Extend: from Heav’n’s high seat incline
Thy eyes, and visit this Thy vine.
Turn them again, Thy face display,
And grief and fear shall fly away.
Merrick, James , M.A., was born in 1720, and educated at Oxford, where he became a Fellow of Trinity College. He entered Holy Orders, but his health would not admit of parish work. He died at Reading, 1769. His publications include:—
(1) Messiah, a Divine Essay. Humbly dedicated to the Reverend the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and the Visitors of the Free School in Reading. By James Merrick, Ætat. 14, Senior Scholar of the School at their last Terminal Visitation, the 7th of October, 1734. Reading. (2) The Destruction of Troy. Translated from the Greek of Tryphiodorus into English Verse, with Notes, &c. 1742. (3) Poems on Sacred Subjects. Oxford . 1763. (4) The Psalms of David Translated or Paraphrased in English Verse… Go to person page >