Psalm 12

Words: Isaac Watts

Note: there is also a Common Metre version on this page

   The saint's safety and hope in evil times.
   1  Lord, if thou dost not soon appear,
      Virtue and truth will fly away;
      A faithful man amongst ns here
      Will scarce be found, if thou delay.
   2  The whole discourse, when neighbors meet,
      Is filled with trifles loose and vain;
      Their lips are flatt'ry and deceit,
      And their proud language is profane.
   3  But lips that with deceit abound
      Shall not maintain their triumph long;
      The God of vengeance will confound
      The flatt'ring and blaspheming tongue.
   4  "Yet shall our words be free," they cry;
      "Our tongues shall be controlled by none:
      Where is the Lord will ask us why)
      Or say our lips are not our own?"
   5  The Lord, who sees the poor oppressed,
      And hears th'oppressor's haughty strain,
      Will rise to give his children rest,
      Nor shall they trust his word in vain.
   6  Thy word, O Lord, though often tried,
      Void of deceit shall still appear;
      Not silver, sev'n times purified
      From dross and mixture, shines so clear
   7  Thy grace shall in the darkest hour
      Defend the holy soul from harm;
      Though when the vilest men have power,
      On ev'ry side will sinners swarm.
Common Metre
   Complaint of a general corruption of manners.
   1  Help, Lord, for men of virtue fail,
         Religion loses ground,
      The sons of violence prevail,
         And treacheries abound.
   2  Their oaths and promises they break,
         Yet act the flatt'rer's part;
      With fair, deceitful lips they speak,
         And with a double heart.
   3  If we reprove some hateful lie,
         How is their fury stirred!
      "Are not our lips our own?" they cry;
         "And who shall be our Lord?"
   4  Scoffers appear on ev'ry side,
         Where a vile race of men
      Is raised to seats of power and pride,
         And bears the sword in vain.
   5  Lord, when iniquities abound,
         And blasphemy grows bold;
      When faith is hardly to be found,
         And love is waxing cold;
   6  Is not thy chariot hast'ning on ?
         Hast thou not giv'n this sign ?
      May we not trust and live upon
         A promise so divine?
   7  "Yes," saith the Lord, "now will I rise,
         And make oppressors flee;
      I shall appear to their surprise,
         And set my servants free."
   8  Thy word, like silver sev'n times tried,
         Through ages shall endure;
      The men that in thy truth confide
         Shall find the promise sure.

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Page last modified on: 07/29/2004