The rush may rise where waters flow,
and flags beside the stream;
But soon their verdure fades and dies
before the scorching beam
So is the sinner’s hope cut off;
or, if it transient rise,
’Tis like the spider’s airy web,
from every breath that flies.
Fixed on his house he leans; his house
and all its props decay:
He holds it fast; but, while he holds,
the tott’ring frame gives way.
Fair in his garden, to the sun
his boughs with verdure smile;
And, deeply fixed, his spreading roots
unshaken stand a while.
But forth the sentence flies from Heav’n,
that sweeps him from his place;
Which then denies him for its lord,
nor owns it knew his face.
Lo! this the joy of wicked men,
who Heav’n’s high laws despise:
They quickly fall; and in their room
as quickly others rise.
But, for the just, with gracious care,
God will his power employ;
He’ll teach their lips to sing his praise,
and fill their hearts with joy.
Scottish Psalter and Paraphrases