Psalm 51          W.W.

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

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


   1  O Lord, consider my distress,
      and now with speed some pity take,
      My sins forgive, my faults redress,
      good Lord, for thy great mercy's sake.
   2  Wash me, O Lord, and make me clean
      from this unjust mad sinful act,
      And purify me once again
      from this foul crime and bloody fact.
   3  Remorse and sorrow do constrain
      me to acknowledge my excess,
      Because my sin doth still remain
      before my face without release.
   4  Against thee only have I sinned
      and done this evil in thy sight;
      And if I should no mercy find,
      yet were thy judgments just and right,
   5  It is too manifest, alas !
      that first I Was conceived in sin;
      Yea, of my mother so born was,
      and yet, vile wretch, remain therein.
   6  Also, behold, Lord, thou dost love
      the inward truth of a pure heart;
      Therefore thy wisdom from above
      thou hast revealed me to convert,
   7  If thou with hyssop purge this blot,
      I shall be cleaner than the glass;
      And if thou wash away my spot,
      the snow in whiteness I shall pass.
   8  Therefore O Lord such joy me send, 
      that I may praise thee with my voice,
      And that my strength may now amend, 
      and broken bones also rejoice.
   9  Turn back thy face and frowning ire,
      for I have felt enough thine hand;
      And purge my sins, I thee desire,
      which do in number pass the sand.
  10  Make new my heart within my breast, 
      and frame it to thy holy will;
      And let thy Spirit in me rest,
      Which may my soul with comfort fill
    The Second Part. 
  11  Cast me not Lord, out from thy sight, 
      but speedily my torments end;
      Take not from me thy Holy Spirt,
      which may from dangers me defend,
  12  Restore me to those joys again,
      which I was wont in thee to find;
      Let me thy free: Spirit retain,
      which unto thee may draw my mind.
  13  Thus when I shall thy mercies know,
      I shall instruct others therein;
      And men that are likewise brought low 
      by my example shall flee sin.
  14  O God, that of my health art Lord, 
      forgive me this my bloody vice;
      My heart and tongue shall, then accord 
      to sing thy mercy and justice.
  15  Touch thou my lips, my tongue untie, 
      O Lord, I do thee humbly pray;
      And then my mouth shall testify
      thy praise and wondrous works alway.
  16  And as for outward sacrifice,
      I would have offered many one;
      But thou esteem'st them of no price,
      and therein pleasure takest none.
  17  The heavy heart, the mind oppressed
      O Lord, thou never dost reject;
      This sacrifice indeed is blest
      and that thou chiefly dost expect.
  18  Lord, unto Zion turn thy face,
      pour out thy mercies on thy hill,
      And on Jerusalem thy grace,
      build up the wall, and love it still.
  19  Thou shalt accept then our off'rings
      of peace and righteousness always,
      Yea, calves and many other things
      upon thy altar we will lay. 
Another of the same, by J.H.
Common Metre Tunes
   1  Have mercy on me, Lord, after
         thy great abounding grace.
      After thy mercies multitude
         do thou my sin set free.
   2  Yea, wash me clean from my offence
         and my iniquity;
      For I do own my faults, and still
         my sin is in my eye.
   3  Against thee, thee alone, I have
         offended in this case,
      And evil have I done before
         the presence of thy face.
   4  That in the things that thou hast done
         upright thou-may'st appear,
      And when thou judgest, all may see
         that thou art very clear.
   5  In wickedness I form-ed was,.
         when I began to be;
      My mother at the very first
         in sin' conceivèd me:
   6  But lo! truth in the inward parts
         is pleasant unto thee,
      And secrets of thy wisdom thou
         revealèd hast to me.
   7  With hyssop, Lord, besprinkle me.
         I shall be cleansed so:
      Yea, wash thou me, and then shall I
         be whiter than the snow.
   8  Of joy and gladness make thou me
         to hear the pleasant voice,
      That so the bones which thou, O Lord,
         hast broken may rejoice.
   9  From the beholding of my sins,
         Lord, turn away thy face,
      And all my deeds of wickedness
         do utterly efface:
  10  O God, create in me a heart
         unspotted in thy sight;
      Within my bowels, Lord, renew
         a firm and stable sp'rit.
  11  Cast me not from thy sight, nor take
         thy Spirit quite away;
      The comfort of thy saving health
         give me again, I pray;
  12  With thy free Spirit me support,
         then shall transgressors be
      By my instruction and advice
         converted unto thee.
    The Second Part. 
  13  O God, that art God of my health,
         from blood deliver me,
      That praises of thy righteousness
         My tongue may sing to thee:
  14  My lips, which yet fast closèd be,
         do thou, O Lord, unloose;
      The praises of thy Majesty
         my mouth shall then disclose.
  15  I would have offered sacrifice,
         if that had pleasèd thee;
      But pleas-ed with burnt-offerings
         I know thou wilt not be.
  16  A spirit grieved is sacrifice
         delightful in thine eyes;
      A broken and a contrite heart,
         Lord, thou wilt not despise.
  17  In thy good will deal gently, Lord,
         with Zion, and withal
      Grant that of thy Jerusalem
         Upreared may be the wall
  18  Burnt off'rings, gifts, and sacrifice
         of justice in that day,
      Thou shalt accept, and calves they shall
         upon thy altar lay.

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