1 Sing to the Lord; invoke his sacred name;
His glorious acts to all the earth proclaim;
2 Our dread Jehovah claims your noblest lays;
Loud let th' exulting tribes chant forth his praise.
3 Let his great name employ the grateful voice;
Let all, that love his name, sincere rejoice:
4 With firmest heart on his blest pow'r rely;
His presence ask--'twill ev'ry want supply.
5 Reflect the works of his almighty hand,
Th' observance that his sacred laws command.
6 To you, blest Abr'ham's race, I speak alone,
To you whom he hath deign'd to call his own.
7 He is our king, e'en he th' almighty God;
Who to th' astonish'd earth his truth hath shew'd,
8 Firm to his covenant he 'as long remain'd,
Which for a thousand ages he ordain'd;
9 Which he with Abr'ham made in days of yore,
To which with Isaac solemnly he swore,
10 Which Jacob heard confirm'd, and which shall bless,
Inviolate, to endless time, his race.
11 "To thee (he said) rich Canaan's lands I'll give,
"Thou in her fertile plains shalt ever live:"
12 E'en then, when yet they were but strangers there,
And weak their pow'r, and few their numbers were;
13 When they, as heav'n ordain'd, poor wand'rers, rov'd
From place to place, and had no fix'd abode.
14 Yet them in peace his goodness still maintain'd;
The cruel rage of threat'ning kings restrain'd,
15 And bad them not those favour'd tribes oppress,
Whom with peculiar love he chose to bless.
16 When a dire famine sore distrest the land,
And scarce th' enfeebled nations life sustain'd,
17 Fair Rachel's favour'd son he sent, a slave,
To those glad lands, Nile's fertile waters lave.
18 There long in prison, long in chains, he lay,
'Til heav'n it's mercy to him did display,
19 Dreams to interpret, gave the wond'rous pow'r,
And taught, the scheme of providence t' explore.
20 This heard the king; he set the pris'ner free,
'Twas Egypt's monarch gave him liberty.
21 He made a bond-slave ruler o'er his land;
O'er all the palace his was the command;
22 That next in honour to his prince he stood,
While all the nobles with obeisance bow'd.
23 'Twas then that Israel into Egypt came,
And sojourn'd in the fruitful plains of Ham:
24 Our God his people 'bove the natives blest;
That soon in pow'r, in numbers, they increas'd.
25 This saw th' Egyptian monarch with regret,
And strait fell on the favour'd tribes his hate:
26 Long suffer'd they, when their almighty friend
Did Humble Moses to their succour send.
27 Aaron and he by their dread wonders prove,
That they had their commission from above.
28 Nature obeys, at once, their great command;
A gloomy darkness shrouds th' astonish'd land;
29 Their streams polluted, flow with fetid gore,
And all their fish lie dead upon the shore:
30 Not now the soil it's glad'ning produce yields,
But frogs infest their palaces and fields.
31 In swarms unnumber'd rang'd the noisome flies,
And all their coasts are cover'd o'er with lice.
32 The kindly rains enrich their glebe no more,
But storms of hail and flame around them pour.
33 Their vines no more the chearful juice supply,
And trees, fruits, flow'rs, in one wild ruin lie.
34 In flights the locusts and the beetles come,
And, what the hail hath left them, they consume;
So that not food for sustenance remains,
But one wild desolation fills the plains.
36 Nay; more t' enhance their fatal miseries,
The favour'd son, the dear-lov'd first born, dies.
37 At last the humbled tyrant lets us go;
A joy sincere his ruin'd people shew;
While we depart, of countless wealth possest,
With nervous strength, with sprightly vigour, blest.
39 By a dun cloud he leads us in the day;
By night a glitt'ring shine directs our way:
40 We ask, and strait we're fed with bread from heav'n;
We ask, and birds of richest taste are giv'n.
41 The rock he smote, and strait the waters came,
Free as a riv'let, gush'd the slaking stream.
42 For he his faithful Abr'ham not forgot,
Nor wou'd he bring his promises to nought;
43 His gracious goodness pointed them the road;
With joy they follow'd their directing God.
44 The heathen's lands he gave them to possess;
And all the produce of their toils in peace;
45 That they his holy statutes might obey,
And never from his dread commandments stray.