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Thy Mercies, Lord

Thy mercies, Lord, shall be my song

Published in 23 hymnals

Representative Text

1 Thy mercies, Lord, shall be my song,
My song on them shall ever dwell;
To ages yet unborn, my tongue
Thy never-failing truth shall tell.

2 I have affirm'd and still maintain,
Thy mercy shall for ever last;
Thy truth, that does the heav'ns sustain,
Like them shall stand for ever fast.

3 Thus spak'st thou by thy prophet's voice:
"With David I a League have made;
"To him, my servant, and my choice,
"By solemn oath this Grant convey'd:

4 "While earth, and seas, and skies endure,
"Thy seed shall in my sight remain;
"To them thy throne I will ensure,
"They shall to endless ages reign."

5 For such stupendous truth and love,
Both heav'n and earth just praises owe,
By choirs of angels sung above,
And by assembled saints below.

6 What seraph of celestial birth
To vie with Isr'el's God shall dare?
Or who among the gods of earth,
With our almighty Lord compare.

7 With rev'rence and religious dread,
His saints should to his temple press;
His fear thro' all their hearts should spread,
Who his almighty name confess.

8 Lord God of armies, who can boast
Of strength or pow'r like thine renown'd?
Of such a num'rous faithful host,
As that which does thy throne surround?

9 Thou dost the lawless sea controul,
And change the prospect of the deep;
Thou mak'st the sleeping billows roll,
Thou mak'st the rolling billows sleep.

10 Thou brak'st in pieces Rahab's pride,
And did'st oppressing pow'r disarm:
Thy scatter'd foes have dearly try'd
The force of thy resistless arm.

11 In thee the sov'reign right remains
Of earth and heav'n; thee, Lord, alone
The world and all that it contains,
Their Maker and Preserver own.

12 The poles on which the globe doth rest,
Were form'd by thy creating voice;
Tabor and Hermon, east and west
In thy sustaining pow'r rejoice.

13 Thy arm is mighty, strong thy hand,
Yet, Lord, thou dost with justice reign;
Possess'd of absolute command,
Thou truth and mercy dost maintain.

14 Happy, thrice happy they, who hear
Thy sacred trumpet's joyful sound:
Who may at festivals appear,
With thy most glorious presence crown'd.

15 Thy saints shall always be o'erjoy'd,
Who on thy sacred name rely;
And, in thy righteousness employ'd,
Above their foes be rais'd on high.

16 For in thy strength they shall advance,
Whose conquests from thy favour spring:
The Lord of hosts is our defence,
And Isr'el's God our Isr'el's King.

Part II.

17 Thus spak'st thou by thy prophet's voice,
"A mighty champion I will send;
"From Judah's tribe have I made choice
"Of one who shall the rest defend.

18 "My servant David I have found,
"With holy oil anointed him;
"Him shall the hand support that crown'd,
"And guard that gave the diadem.

19 "No prince from him, shall tribute force,
"No son of strife shall him annoy;
"His spiteful foes I will disperse,
"And them before his face destroy.

20 "My truth and grace shall him sustain;
"His armies, in well order'd ranks,
"Shall conquer, from the Tyrian main
"To Tigris' and Euphrates' banks.

21 "Me for his Father he shall take,
"His God and rock of safety call;
"Him I my first-born son will make,
"And earthly kings his subjects all.

22 "To him my mercy I'll secure,
"My cov'nant make for ever fast;
"His seed for ever shall endure,
"His throne, till heav'n dissolve, shall last.

23 "But if his heirs my law forsake,
"And from my sacred precepts stray;
"If they my righteous statutes break,
"Nor strictly my commands obey.

24 "Their sins I'll visit with a rod,
"And for their folly make them smart;
"Yet will not cease to be their God,
"Nor from my truth, like them, depart.

25 'My cov'nant I will ne'er revoke,
"But in remembrance fast retain;
"The thing that once my lips have spoke
"Shall in eternal force remain.

26 "Once have I sworn, but once for all,
"And made my holiness the tie,
"That I my grant will ne'er recall,
"Nor to my Servant David lie.

27 "Whose throne and race the constant sun
"Shall like his course establish'd see:
"Of this my oath, revolving moon,
"In heav'n my faithful witness be."

28 Such was thy gracious promise, Lord;
But thou hast now our tribes forsook:
Thy own anointed hast abhorr'd,
And turn'd on him thy wrathful look.

29 Thou seemest to have render'd void
The cov'nant with thy servant made,
Thou hast his dignity destroy'd,
And in the dust his honour laid.

30 Of strong holds thou hast him bereft,
And brought his bulwarks to decay:
His frontier-coasts defenceeless left,
A public scorn, and common prey.

31 His ruin does glad triumphs yield
To foes advanc'd by thee to night;
Thou hast his conqu'ring sword unsteel'd,
His valour turn'd to shameful flight.

32 His glory is to darkness fled,
His throne is levell'd with the ground;
His youth to wretched bondage led,
With shame o'erwhelm'd, and sorrow drown'd.

33 How long shall we thy absence mourn?
Wilt thou for ever, Lord, retire?
Shall thy consuming anger burn
Till that and we at once expire?

34 Consider, Lord, how short a space
Thou dost for mortal life ordain;
No method to prolong the race,
But loading it with grief and pain.

35 What man is he that can controul
Death's strict unalterable doom?
Or rescue from the grave his soul,
The grave that must mankind entomb.

36 Lord, where's thy love, thy boundless grace,
The oath to which thy truth did seal,
Consign'd to David and his race,
The grant which time should ne'er repeal.

37 See how thy servants treated are
With infamy, reproach and spite;
Which in my silent breast I bear,
From nations, of licentious might.

38 How they, reproaching thy great name,
Have made thy servants hope their jest:
Yet thy just praises we'll proclaim,
And sing amen, "The Lord be blest."

Source: The Psalms of David: with hymns and spiritual songs: also, the catechism, confession of faith, and liturgy of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands #89

Text Information

First Line: Thy mercies, Lord, shall be my song
Title: Thy Mercies, Lord
Source: Tate and Brady
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


[To celebrate thy name, O Lord]


TALLIS CANON is one of nine tunes Thomas Tallis (PHH 62) contributed to Matthew Parker's Psalter (around 1561). There it was used as a setting for Psalm 67. In the original tune the melody began in the tenor, followed by the soprano, and featured repeated phrases. Thomas Ravenscroft (PHH 59) publish…

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