Metrical 'New Version' (Tate/Brady)
1 Defend me, Lord, from shame,
For still I trust in thee;
As just and righteous is thy Name,
From danger set me free.
2 Bow down thy gracious ear,
And speedy succour send;
Do thou my steadfast rock appear,
To shelter and defend.
3 Since thou, when foes oppress,
My rock and fortress art,
To guide me forth from this distress
Thy wonted help impart.
4 Release me from the snare
Which they have closely laid,
Since I, O God my strength, repair
To thee alone for aid.
5 To thee, the God of truth,
My life, and all that's mine,
(For thou preserv'dst me from my youth,)
I willingly resign.
6 All vain designs I hate
Of those that trust in lies;
And still my soul in ev'ry state
To God for succour flies.
The Second Part
7 Those mercies thou hast shown
I'll cheerfully express;
For thou hast seen my straits, and known
My soul in deep distress.
8 When Keilah's treach'rous race
Did all my strength enclose,
Thou gav'st my feet a larger space
To shun my watchful foes.
9 Thy mercy, Lord, display,
And hear my just complaint;
For both my soul and flesh decay,
With grief and huger faint.
10 Sad thoughts my life oppress;
My years are spent in groans;
My sins have made my strength decrease,
And e'en consum'd my bones.
11 My foes my suff'rings mock'd;
My neighbours did upbraid;
My friends, at sight of me, were shock'd
And fled as men dismay'd.
12 Forsook by all am I,
As dead and out of mind;
And like a shatter'd vessel lie,
Whose parts can ne'er be join'd.
13 Yet sland'ring words they speak,
And seem my pow'r to dread;
Whilst they together counsel take
My guiltless blood to shed.
14 But still my steadfast trust
I on thy help repose;
That thou, my God, art good and just,
My soul with comfort knows.
The Third Part
15 Whate'er events betide,
Thy wisdom times them all;
Then, Lord, thy servant safely hide
From those that seek his fall.
16 The brightness of thy face
To me, O Lord, disclose;
And, as thy mercies still increase,
Preserve me from my foes.
17 Me from dishonour save,
Who still have call'd on thee
Let that, and silence in the grave,
The sinner's portion be.
18 Do thou their tongues restrain,
Whose breath in lies is spent,
Who false reports, with proud disdain,
Against the righteous vent.
19 How great thy mercies are
To such as fear thy Name,
Which thou, for those that trust thy care,
Dost to the world proclaim!
20 Thou keep'st them in thy sight,
From proud oppressors free:
From tongues that do in strife delight
They are preserv’d by thee.
21 With glory and renown
God's Name be ever bless'd;
Whose love in Keilah's well-fenc'd town
Was wondrously express'd.
22 I said, in hasty flight,
I'm banish'd from thine eyes;
Yet still thou kept'st me in thy sight,
And heard'st my earnest cries.
23 O all ye saints, the Lord
With eager love pursue;
Who to the just will help afford,
And give the proud their due.
24 Ye that on God rely,
For he will still your hearts supply
With strength in time of need.
Lord (for on thee supported stand
My hopes,) O let thy aiding hand
The justice of my cause proclaim,
And save me from impending shame.
Thy ear, thou Majesty divine,
Propitious to my pray'r incline;
Haste to my help, and let thy pow'r
My rock present and brazen tow'r:
That rock, that tow'r, my God, in thee,
Snatch'd from surrounding ills, I see;
Shew my thy path, and so thy name
Shall praise and thanks perpetual claim.
O let me, by thy counsel led,
Thy path with step unerring tread,
And, sav'd by thy preventive care,
Shake from my feet the broken snare.
God of my strength, the wise, the just,
To thee my spirit I intrust;
From thee, when terrors clos'd me round,
My soul its full redemption found.
My thoughts the self-deceiving train,
Enslav'd to superstitions vain,
Abhor, and 'midst increasing woes
Their confidence on thee repose.
Thy mercy shall my thanks employ,
My constant theme, my highest joy;
For thou, my soul by griefs pursued,
My state with pitying eye hast view'd.
Thy hand, while rang'd in close array
Insulting hosts around me lay,
Gave to the wind their vain design,
And made the paths of freedom mine.
Once more, my sight with inward grief
Consum'd, vouchsafe me thy relief,
Confess me thine, dispel the sighs
That in my heaving bosom rise;
For while my soul its ceaseless pains
Deep through its inmost frame sustains,
Life's noon for eve exchang'd I bear,
And Age invited on by Care.
The guilt that in my thought revolves
My strength impairs, my joints dissolves;
The scorn of foes, and, keener yet,
The scorns of friends, my soul beset:
My former guests, if in their way
My wasted form they now survey,
With horror struck the sight forgo,
And shun th'infection of my woe.
With lonely step the earth I tread,
Forgotten as the silent dead,
Or as the vase of meanest clay,
In useless fragments cast away.
My fame opprobrious tongues invade,
While terrors wrap me in their shade,
And crouds with meditated rage
Against my life their pow'rs engage.
Yet see me, Lord, in thee confide;
Thou art my God, my heart has cried;
From thee my time its limit knows;
O save me from devouring foes.
O let thy presence on me beam,
Thy clemency my life redeem,
Nor let me, Lord, the shame sustain
Thy aid to ask, and ask in vain.
Theirs be the shame, thy pow'r who brave,
Nor cease their insults, till the grave,
Absorbing quick the guilty throng,
In endless silence seal their tongue:
Such silence on their lips impose,
Whose words their pride-swoll'n heart disclose,
At Wisdom's sons their malice aim,
And blast with lies the guiltless name.
O, how shall all who seek thy love
The fulness of thy bounty prove!
And teach th'admiring world to see
How blest the souls that trust in thee!
Thy Saints, while breath their life prolongs,
Sav'd by thy care from strife of tongues,
Shall see thy tabernacle spread
Its awful splendors o'er their head.
Blest be the name of Jacob's God,
Whose love, in happiest hour bestow'd,
Has giv'n within my lot to fall
The strong-built city's guarding wall.
Awhile, with uncollected mind,
As banish'd from thy sight, I pin'd;
But thou thy Servant's pray'r hast heard,
In anguish of my heart preferr'd.
Ye souls devoted to his fear,
With thankful love your God revere,
Who wakes your chosen train to guard,
And deals to pride its just reward.
Be strong, be stedfast: so your mind
From him its full support shall find,
(Ye saints that in his care confide,)
Nor own nor ask a help beside.