1 What nobler subject can the soul employ,
When feels the pious heart sublimer joy,
Than when the praises of her God she sings,
And chants the glories of the king of kings?
2 At night his truth, his honour to display,
His clemency, his mercies in the day?
3 Whether the lofty theme the voice inspire,
Whether it tunes the psaltery and the lyre.
4 When my wrapt soul thy wonders meditate,
What nameless transports o'er my heart dilate?
5 Thy glorious wonders! far beyond the ken
Of earth's untoward sons, of impious men;
7 Of men, the short-liv'd shadows of a day,
Who, like the blooming grass, awhile look gay;
And, like the grass, that fades, that withers soon,
Lose quick their strength, their beauty, and are gone.
8 While permanent thy glory, Lord most high,
To endless time shines forth thy majesty.
9 What dreadful fate attends thy stubborn foes?
What fearful perils! O what countless woes!
10 Dispers'd, they fall; while health, while vigour's mine,
And thy blest ointments on my temples shine:
11 While my glad eyes with ceaseless transport view
Inevitable death their steps pursue;
While, to my soul's desire, their fate she hears--
The welcome tidings fill my ravish'd ears.
12 As high in Lebanon the cedar grows,
As spreads th' aspiring palm her lofty boughs,
13 The righteous flourish long--deep-rooted, they,
Within thy courts, look ever green and gay;
14 Loaded with fruits, yet constantly in bloom,
No frosts shall nip them, and no blasts consume.
15 This solemn truth that all the earth may know,
Our God is never to the good a foe;
Injustice hates, and equity approves,
And humble innocence protects and loves.