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Psalm 102


First Version (c.M.)

[Recommended tunes: v 1-11 Martyrs, Dundee; v 12-22 St Lawrence; v 23-28 St Anne]



A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord.


1O Lord, unto my pray'r give ear,

my cry let come to thee;

2And 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:

3For, as an hearth, my bones are burnt,

my days, like smoke, do waste.


4My heart within me smitten is,

and it is withered

Like very grass; so that I do

forget to eat my bread.

5By reason of my groaning voice

my bones cleave to my skin.

6Like pelican in wilderness

forsaken I have been:


I like an owl in desert am,

that nightly there doth moan;

7I watch, and like a sparrow am

on the house-top alone.

8My bitter en'mies all the day

reproaches cast on me;

And, being mad at me, with rage

against me sworn they be.


9For why? I ashes eaten have

like bread, in sorrows deep;

My drink I also mingled have

with tears that I did weep.

10Thy wrath and indignation

did cause this grief and pain;

For thou hast lift me up on high,

and cast me down again.


11My days are like unto a shade,

which doth declining pass;

And I am dry'd and withered,

ev'n like unto the grass.

12But thou, Lord, everlasting art,

and thy remembrance shall

Continually endure, and be

to generations all.


13Thou shalt arise, and mercy have

upon thy Sion yet;

The time to favour her is come,

the time that thou hast set.

14For in her rubbish and her stones

thy servants pleasure take;

Yea, they the very dust thereof

do favour for her sake.


15So shall the heathen people fear

the Lord's most holy name;

And all the kings on earth shall dread

thy glory and thy fame.

16When Sion by the mighty Lord

built up again shall be,

In glory then and majesty

to men appear shall he.


17The prayer of the destitute

he surely will regard;

Their prayer will he not despise,

by him it shall be heard.

18For generations yet to come

this shall be on record:

So shall the people that shall be

created praise the Lord.


19He from his sanctuary's height

hath downward cast his eye;

And from his glorious throne in heav'n

the Lord the earth did spy;

20That of the mournful prisoner

the groanings he might hear,

To set them free that unto death

by men appointed are:


21That they in Sion may declare

the Lord's most holy name,

And publish in Jerusalem

the praises of the same;

22When as the people gather shall

in troops with one accord,

When kingdoms shall assembled be

to serve the highest Lord.


23My wonted strength and force he hath

abated in the way,

And he my days hath shortened:

24Thus 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.


25The firm foundation of the earth

of old time thou hast laid;

The heavens also are the work

which thine own hands have made.

26Thou 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:

27But thou the same art, and thy years

are to eternity.

28The children of thy servants shall

continually endure;

And in thy sight, O Lord, their seed

shall be establish'd sure.



Second Version (l.M.)

[Recommended tunes: v 1-12 Saxony, Soldau, Finnart; v 13-22 Wareham, , Herongate; v 23-28 Hereford, Rockingham, Tallisí Canon]



1Lord, hear my pray'r, and let my cry

Have speedy access unto thee;

2In day of my calamity

O hide not thou thy face from me.

Hear when I call to thee; that day

An answer speedily return:

3My days, like smoke, consume away,

And, as an hearth, my bones do burn.


4My heart is wounded very sore,

And withered, like grass doth fade:

I am forgetful grown therefore

To take and eat my daily bread.

5By 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.


6The pelican of wilderness,

The owl in desert, I do match;

7And, sparrow-like, companionless,

Upon the house's top, I watch.

8I 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.


9For 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.

10Because thy wrath was not appeas'd,

And dreadful indignation:

Therefore it was that thou me rais'd,

And thou again didst cast me down.


11My days are like a shade alway,

Which doth declining swiftly pass;

And I am withered away,

Much like unto the fading grass.

12But thou, O Lord, shalt still endure,

From change and all mutation free,

And to all generations sure

Shall thy remembrance ever be.


13Thou 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.

14Thy saints take pleasure in her stones,

Her very dust to them is dear.

15All heathen lands and kingly thrones

On earth thy glorious name shall fear.


16God in his glory shall appear,

When Sion he builds and repairs.

17He shall regard and lend his ear

Unto the needy's humble pray'rs:

Th' afflicted's pray'r he will not scorn.

18All times this shall be on record:

And generations yet unborn

Shall praise and magnify the Lord.


19He from his holy place look'd down,

The earth he view'd from heav'n on high;

20To hear the pris'ner's mourning groan,

And free them that are doom'd to die;

21That Sion, and Jerus'lem too,

His name and praise may well record,

22When people and the kingdoms do

Assemble all to praise the Lord.


23My strength he weaken'd in the way,

My days of life he shortened.

24My God, O take me not away

In mid-time of my days, I said:

Thy years throughout all ages last.

25Of old thou hast established

The earth's foundation firm and fast:

Thy mighty hands the heav'ns have made.


26They perish shall, as garments do,

But thou shalt evermore endure;

As vestures, thou shalt change them so;

And they shall all be changed sure:

27But from all changes thou art free;

Thy endless years do last for aye.

28Thy servants, and their seed who be,

Establish'd shall before thee stay.


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The Psalms in Metre