Words: Brady and Tate, A New Version of the Psalms of David
1,2 Let all the list'ning world attend, and my instruction hear; Let high and low, and rich and poor, with joint consent give ear. 3 My mouth, with sacred wisdom filled, shall good advice impart, The sound result of prudent thoughts, digested in my heart. 4 To parables of weighty sense I will my ear incline; Whilst to my tuneful: harp I sing dark words of deep design. 5 Why should my courage fail in times of dangers and of doubt? When sinners, that would me supplant, have compassed me about? 6 Those men that all their hope and trust in heaps of treasure place, And boast and triumph, when they see their ill-got wealth increase, 7 Are yet unable from the grave their dearest friend to free; Nor can by force or bribes reverse th' Almighty Lord's decree. 8,9 Their vain endeavors they must quit; the price is held too high: No sums can purchase such a grant, that man should never die. 10 Not wisdom can the wise exempt, nor fools their folly save; But both must perish, and in death their wealth to others leave. 11 For though they think their stately seats: shall ne'er to ruin fall; But their remembrance last in lauds which by their names they call. 12 Yet shall their fame he soon forgot, how great soe'er their state; With beasts their memory and they shall share one common fate. The Second Part. 13 How great their folly is who thus absurd conclusions make! And yet their children, unreclaimed, repeat the gross mistake. 14 They all, like sheep to slaughter led, the prey of death are made; Their beauty, while the just rejoice, within the grave shall fade. 15 But God will yet redeem my soul, and from the greedy grave His greater pow'r shall set me free, and to himself receive. 16 Then fear not thou, when worldly men in envied wealth abound, Nor though their prosp'rous house increase, with state and honor crowned. 17 For when they're summoned hence by death, they leave all this behind; No shadow of their former pomp within the grave they find. 18 And yet they thought their state was blessed, caught in the flatt'rer's snare, Who with their vanity complied, and praised their selfish care. 19 In their forefathers' steps they tread; and when, like them, they die, Their wretched ancestors and they in endless darkness lie. 20 For man, how great soe'er his state, unless he's truly wise, As like a sensual beast he lives, so like a beast he dies.