Psalm 39       J. H.

Words: Sternhold and Hopkins, The Whole Book of Psalms Collected into English Metre

Common Metre Tunes

   1  I said, "I will look to my ways,
         for fear I should go wrong;
      I will take heed all times that I
         offend not with my tongue:
   2  "As with a bit I will keep fast
         my mouth with force and might,
      Not once to whisper all the while
         the wicked are in sight."
   3  I held my tongue, and spake no word,
         but kept me close and still;
      Yea, from good talk I did refrain,
         but sore against my will.
   4  My heart grew hot within my breast
         with musing, thought and doubt,
      Which did increase and stir the fire,
          at last these words burst out:
   5  Lord, number out my life and days,
         which yet I have not past;
      So that I may be certified
         how long my life shall last.
   6  For thou hast pointed out my life,
         in length much like a span:
      My age is nothing unto thee;
         so vain is every man!
   7  Man walketh like a shade, and doth
         in vain himself employ,
      In getting goods, and cannot tell
         who shall the same enjoy.
   8  Therefore, O Lord, what wait I for?
         What help do I desire?
      Truly my hope is e'en in thee,
         I nothing else require.
   The Second Part
   9  From all the sins that I have done,
         Lord, quit me out of hand,
      And make me not a scorn to fools,
         that nothing understand.
  10  I was so dumb, that to complain
         no trouble could me move,
      Because I knew it was thy work
         my patience for to prove.
  11  Lord, take from me thy scourge and plague,
         I cannot them withstand,
      I faint and pine away for fear
         of thy most heavy hand.
  12  When thou for sin dost man rebuke,
         he waxeth pale and wan,
      As doth a cloth that moths have fret;
         so vain a thing is man!
  13  Lord, hear my suit, and give good heed,
         regard my tears that fall;
      I sojourn like a stranger here,
         as did my fathers all.
  14  O spare a little, give me space
         my strength for to restore,
      Before I go away from hence,
         and shall be seen no more.

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