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Psalm 49


[Recommended tunes: St Neot, Caroline, Wigtown]



To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.


1Hear this, all people, and give ear,

all in the world that dwell;

2Both low and high, both rich and poor.

3My mouth shall wisdom tell:

My heart shall knowledge meditate.

4I will incline mine ear

To parables, and on the harp

my sayings dark declare.


5Amidst those days that evil be,

why should I, fearing, doubt?

When of my heels th' iniquity

shall compass me about.

6Whoe'er they be that in their wealth

their confidence do pitch,

And boast themselves, because they are

become exceeding rich:


7Yet none of these his brother can

redeem by any way;

Nor can he unto God for him

sufficient ransom pay,

8(Their soul's redemption precious is,

and it can never be,)

9That still he should for ever live,

and not corruption see.


10For why? he seeth that wise men die,

and brutish fools also

Do perish; and their wealth, when dead,

to others they let go.

11Their inward thought is, that their house

and dwelling-places shall

Stand through all ages; they their lands

by their own names do call.


12But yet in honour shall not man

abide continually;

But passing hence, may be compar'd

unto the beasts that die.

13Thus brutish folly plainly is

their wisdom and their way;

Yet their posterity approve

what they do fondly say.


14Like sheep they in the grave are laid,

and death shall them devour;

And in the morning upright men

shall over them have pow'r:

Their beauty from their dwelling shall

consume within the grave.

15But from hell's hand God will me free,

for he shall me receive.


16Be thou not then afraid when one

enriched thou dost see,

Nor when the glory of his house

advanced is on high:

17For he shall carry nothing hence

when death his days doth end;

Nor shall his glory after him

into the grave descend.


18Although he his own soul did bless

whilst he on earth did live;

(And when thou to thyself dost well,

men will thee praises give;)

19He to his fathers' race shall go,

they never shall see light.

20Man honour'd wanting knowledge is

like beasts that perish quite.



The Psalms in Metre