Psalm 104

Words: Brady and  Tate, A New Version of the Psalms of David


    1  Bless God, my soul; thou, Lord, alone 
       possessest empire without bounds;
       With honor thou art crowned, thy throne 
       eternal majesty surrounds.

    2  With light thou dost thyself enrobe,
       and glory for a garment take;
       Heav'n's curtains stretch beyond the globe, 
       thy canopy of state to make.

    3  God builds on liquid air, and forms
       his palace chambers in the skies;
       The clouds his chariot are, and storms 
       the swift-winged steeds with which he flies.

    4  As bright as flame, and swift as wind, 
       his ministers heaven's palace fill,
       To have their sundry tasks assigned;
       all proud to serve their sov'reign's will.

  5,6  Earth on her center fixed he set,
       her face with waters overspread,
       Nor proudest mountains dared, as yet,
       to lift above the waves their head.

    7  But when thy awful face appeared,
       th' insulting waves dispersed; they fled,
       When once thy thunder's voice they heard, 
       and by their haste confessed their dread.

    8  Thence up by secret tracks they creep, 
       and, gushing from the mountain's side,
       Through rallies travel to the deep,
       appointed to receive their tide.

    9  There hast thou fixed the ocean's bounds, 
       the threat'ning surges to repel;
       That they no more o'erpass the mounds, 
       nor to a second deluge swell.

	The Second Part.

   10  Yet thence, in smaller parties drawn,
       the sea recovers her lost hills;
       And starting springs from ev'ry lawn
       surprise the vales with plenteous rills.

   11  The fields' tame beasts are thither led, 
       weary with labor, faint with drought:
       And asses, on wild mountains bred,
       have sense to find these currents out.

   12  Their shady trees, from scorching beams, 
       yield shelter to the feathered throng;
       They drink, and to the bounteous streams 
       return the tribute of their song.

   13  His rains from heav'n parched hills recruit, 
       that soon transmit the liquid store,
       Till earth is burdened with her fruit,
       and nature's lap can hold no more.

   14  Grass for our cattle to devour,
       he makes the growth of ev'ry field;
       Herbs for man's use, of various pow'r, 
       that either food or physic yield.

   15  With clustered grapes he crowns the vine, 
       to cheer man's heart, oppressed with cares.
       Gives oil that makes his face to shine, 
       and corn that wasted strength repairs.

	The Third Part

   16  The trees of God, without the care
       or art of man, with sap are fed;
       The mountain cedar looks as fair
       as those in royal gardens bred.

   17  Safe in the lofty cedar's arms
       the wand'rers of the air may rest;
       The hospitable pine from harms
       protects the stork, her pious guest.

   18  Wild goats the craggy rock ascend,
       its tow'ring heights their fortress make,
       Whose cells in labyrinths extend,
       where feebler creatures refuge take.

   19  The moon's inconstant aspect shows
       th' appointed seasons of the year;
       Th' instructed sun his duty knows,
       his hours to rise and disappear.

20,21  Darkness he makes the earth to shroud, 
       when forest beasts securely stray;
       Young lions roar their wants aloud
       to Providence, that sends them prey.

   22  They range all night, on slaughter bent, 
       till, summoned by the rising morn,
       To skulk in dens, with one consent,
       the conscious ravagers return.

   23  Forth to the tillage of his soil
       the husbandman securely goes,
       Commencing with the sun his toil,
       with him returns to his repose.

   24  How various, Lord, thy works are found, 
       for which thy wisdom we adore;
       The earth is with thy treasure crowned, 
       till nature's hand can grasp no more.

	The Fourth Part.

   25  But still the vast unfathomed main
       of wonders a new scene supplies;
       Whose depths inhabitants contain
       of ev'ry form and ev'ry size.

   26  Full-freighted ships from ev'ry port
       there cut their unmolested way;
       Leviathan, whom there to sport
       thou mad'st, has compass there to play.

   27  These various troops of sea and land
       in sense of common want agree:
       All wait on thy dispensing hand,
       and have their daily alms from thee.

   28  They gather what thy stores disperse,
       without their trouble to provide:
       Thou op'st thy hand, the universe,
       the craving worm, is all supplied.

   29  Thou for a moment hid'st thy face,
       the num'rous ranks of creatures mourn;
       Thou tak'st their breath, all nature's race
       forthwith to mother earth return.

   30  Again thou send'st thy Spirit forth
       t' inspire the mass with vital seed;
       Nature's restored, and parent earth
       smiles on her new-created breed.

   31  Thus through successive ages stands,
       firm fixed, thy providential care;
       Pleased with the work of thy own hands,
       thou dost the wastes of time repair.

   32  One look of thine, one wrathful look,
       earth's panting breast with terror fills;
       One touch from thee, with clouds of smoke 
       in darkness shrouds the proudest hills.

   33  In praising God, while he prolongs
       my breath, I will that breath employ;
   34  And join devotion to my songs,
       sincere as is in him my joy.

   35  While sinners from earth's face are hurled,
       my soul, praise thou his holy Name,
       Till with my song the list'ning world
       join concert, and his praise proclaim.

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Page last modified on: 07/29/2004