― 79 ―

Psalm XC.

O God, the everlasting One,
In Thee alone, from sire to son,
Through generations all, our race
Hath found a sure abiding place.

Before the mountains rose from earth,
Before the world itself had birth,
Ere yet the heav'ns were spread abroad,
Thou wast and art eternal God.

But man, the creature of Thy breath,
Thou humblest to the deeps of death;
Few days and sad thou giv'st and then
“Return,” Thou say'st, “ye sons of men.”

For, lo, the space of thousand years
To Thine unchanging eye appears
As yesterday to mortal sight,
When passed, or as a watch of night.

  ― 80 ―
As comes a flood on those who sleep,
So over man Thy wrath doth sweep.
As fades the freshness of the grass,
So swiftly doth his vigour pass.

As grass at morn he flourisheth;
Cut down, at eve he lies in death;
Like flame Thy wrath against us burns,
And all our life to anguish turns.

Thou our iniquities hast set
Before Thy face, unpardon'd yet;
Our secret sins, in darkness done,
Thy light reveals them ev'ry one.

And all our days beneath the blast
Of Thy consuming wrath are past;
Our barren lives from year to year
Ev'n as an idle tale appear.

In seventy years our race is run,
And what if here and there an one,
Through greater strength four-score attains
He only added sorrow gains.

And soon the longest life is o'er,
We pass away and are no more.
Oh, who Thine anger can express,
Thine ire is as Thine awfulness.

  ― 81 ―
Lord, teach us so our days to count,
That as we mark their small amount,
Our hearts we may the more apply
To learn Thy wisdom ere we die.

Return, Oh God. How long wilt Thou
Thy grace withhold? Oh, even now,
In mercy hear Thy servant's voice,
That all our days we may rejoice.

According as the days have been
Wherein we have but sorrow seen,
According to our years of ill
Do Thou our lives with gladness fill.

Give Thou to us Thy works to know;
Thy glory to our children show,
And on Thy servants let there rest
The beauty of the Holiest.

To all the work we do on earth
Give Thou, O Lord, enduring worth;
Yea, that our handwork may endure,
Do Thou, Eternal, make it sure.