First Version (C.M.)
^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
And in thy sight, O Lord, their seed
shall be establish'd sure.