Second Version (L.M.)
1 Lord, hear my pray’r, and let my cry
Have speedy access unto thee;
2 In day of my calamity
O hide not thou thy face from me.
Hear when I call to thee; that day
An answer speedily return:
3 My days, like smoke, consume away,
And, as an hearth, my bones do burn.
4 My heart is wounded very sore,
And withered, like grass doth fade:
I am forgetful grown therefore
To take and eat my daily bread.
5 By reason of my smart within,
And voice of my most grievous groans,
My flesh consumed is, my skin,
All parch’d, doth cleave unto my bones.
6 The pelican of wilderness,
The owl in desert, I do match;
7 And, sparrow-like, companionless,
Upon the house’s top, I watch.
8 I all day long am made a scorn,
Reproach’d by my malicious foes:
The madmen are against me sworn,
The men against me that arose.
9 For I have ashes eaten up,
To me as if they had been bread;
And with my drink I in my cup
Of bitter tears a mixture made.
10 Because thy wrath was not appeas’d,
And dreadful indignation:
Therefore it was that thou me rais’d,
And thou again didst cast me down.
11 My days are like a shade alway,
Which doth declining swiftly pass;
And I am withered away,
Much like unto the fading grass.
12 But thou, O Lord, shalt still endure,
From change and all mutation free,
And to all generations sure
Shall thy remembrance ever be.
13 Thou shalt arise, and mercy yet
Thou to mount Sion shalt extend:
Her time for favour which was set,
Behold, is now come to an end.
14 Thy saints take pleasure in her stones,
Her very dust to them is dear.
15 All heathen lands and kingly thrones
On earth thy glorious name shall fear.
16 God in his glory shall appear,
When Sion he builds and repairs.
17 He shall regard and lend his ear
Unto the needy’s humble pray’rs:
Th’ afflicted’s pray’r he will not scorn.
18 All times this shall be on record:
And generations yet unborn
Shall praise and magnify the Lord.
19 He from his holy place look’d down,
The earth he view’d from heav’n on high;
20 To hear the pris’ner’s mourning groan,
And free them that are doom’d to die;
21 That Sion, and Jerus’lem too,
His name and praise may well record,
22 When people and the kingdoms do
Assemble all to praise the Lord.
23 My strength he weaken’d in the way,
My days of life he shortened.
24 My God, O take me not away
In mid-time of my days, I said:
Thy years throughout all ages last.
25 Of old thou hast established
The earth’s foundation firm and fast:
Thy mighty hands the heav’ns have made.
26 They perish shall, as garments do,
But thou shalt evermore endure;
As vestures, thou shalt change them so;
And they shall all be changed sure:
27 But from all changes thou art free;
Thy endless years do last for aye.
28 Thy servants, and their seed who be,
Establish’d shall before thee stay.
First Version (C.M.)
1 O Lord, unto my pray’r give ear,
my cry let come to thee;
2 And in the day of my distress
hide not thy face from me.
Give ear to me; what time I call,
to answer me make haste:
3 For, as an hearth, my bones are burnt,
my days, like smoke, do waste.
4 My heart within me smitten is,
and it is withered
Like very grass; so that I do
forget to eat my bread.
5 By reason of my groaning voice
my bones cleave to my skin.
6 Like pelican in wilderness
forsaken I have been:
I like an owl in desert am,
that nightly there doth moan;
7 I watch, and like a sparrow am
on the house-top alone.
8 My bitter en’mies all the day
reproaches cast on me;
And, being mad at me, with rage
against me sworn they be.
9 For why? I ashes eaten have
like bread, in sorrows deep;
My drink I also mingled have
with tears that I did weep.
10 Thy wrath and indignation
did cause this grief and pain;
For thou hast lift me up on high,
and cast me down again.
11 My days are like unto a shade,
which doth declining pass;
And I am dry’d and withered,
ev’n like unto the grass.
12 But thou, Lord, everlasting art,
and thy remembrance shall
Continually endure, and be
to generations all.
13 Thou shalt arise, and mercy have
upon thy Sion yet;
The time to favour her is come,
the time that thou hast set.
14 For in her rubbish and her stones
thy servants pleasure take;
Yea, they the very dust thereof
do favour for her sake.
15 So shall the heathen people fear
the Lord’s most holy name;
And all the kings on earth shall dread
thy glory and thy fame.
16 When Sion by the mighty Lord
built up again shall be,
In glory then and majesty
to men appear shall he.
17 The prayer of the destitute
he surely will regard;
Their prayer will he not despise,
by him it shall be heard.
18 For generations yet to come
this shall be on record:
So shall the people that shall be
created praise the Lord.
19 He from his sanctuary’s height
hath downward cast his eye;
And from his glorious throne in heav’n
the Lord the earth did spy;
20 That of the mournful prisoner
the groanings he might hear,
To set them free that unto death
by men appointed are:
21 That they in Sion may declare
the Lord’s most holy name,
And publish in Jerusalem
the praises of the same;
22 When as the people gather shall
in troops with one accord,
When kingdoms shall assembled be
to serve the highest Lord.
23 My wonted strength and force he hath
abated in the way,
And he my days hath shortened:
24 Thus therefore did I say,
My God, in mid-time of my days
take thou me not away:
From age to age eternally
thy years endure and stay.
25 The firm foundation of the earth
of old time thou hast laid;
The heavens also are the work
which thine own hands have made.
26 Thou shalt for evermore endure,
but they shall perish all;
Yea, ev’ry one of them wax old,
like to a garment, shall:
Thou, as a vesture, shalt them change,
and they shall changed be:
27 But thou the same art, and thy years
are to eternity.
28 The children of thy servants shall
And in thy sight, O Lord, their seed
shall be establish’d sure.