1 Speak, O ye judges of the earth,
If just your sentence be:
Or must not innocence appeal
To heav'n from your decree?
2 Your wicked hearts and judgements are
Alike by malice sway'd;
Your griping hands, by weighty bribes,
To violence betray'd.
3 To virtue strangers, from the womb,
Their infant steps went wrong;
They prattled slander, and in lies
Employ'd their lisping tongue.
4 No serpent of parch'd Afric's breed
Does ranker poison bear;
The drowsy adder will as soon,
Unlock his sullen ear.
5 Unmov'd by good advice, and deaf
As adders they remain;
From whom the skilful charmer's voice
Can no attention gain.
6 Defeat, O God, their threat'ning rage,
And timely break their pow'r:
Disarm these growling lions' jaws,
E're practis'd to devour.
7 Let now their insolence, at height,
Like ebbing tides, be spent;
Their shiver'd darts deceive their aim,
When they their bow have bent.
8 Like snails let them dissolve to slime;
Like hasty births become
Unworthy to behold the sun,
And dead within the womb.
9 E'er thorns can make the flesh-pot boil,
Tempest'ous wrath shall come
From God, and snatch them hence alive,
To their eternal doom.
10 The righteous shall rejoice to see,
Their crimes with vengeance meet;
And saints in persecutor's blood
Shall dip their harmless feet.
11 Transgressors then with grief shall see
Just men rewards obtain,
And own a God, whose justice will
The guilty earth arraign.
Source: Church Hymn Book: consisting of newly composed hymns with the addition of hymns and psalms, from other authors, carefully adapted for the use of public worship, and many other occasions (1st ed.) #P.LVIII