Psalm 55 J. H.
Words: Sternhold and Hopkins, The Whole Book of Psalms Collected into English Metre
1 O God, give ear, and speedily hear me when I do pray; And when to thee I call and cry, hide not thyself away.
2 Take heed to me, grant my request, and answer me again; With grief I pray, full sore oppressed, sorrow doth me constrain:
3 Because my foes with threats and cries oppress me through despite, And so the wicked sort likewise to vex me take delight. 4 For they in council do conspire to charge me with some ill, And in their hasty wrath and ire they do pursue me still.
5 My heart doth faint for want of breath, it panteth in my breast; With terror and the dread of death my soul is much oppressed:
6 Such dreadful fear on me doth fall, that I therewith do quake; Such horror overwhelmeth me, that I no shift can make.
7 Oh, that I had wings like a dove! then would I swiftly flee Away from hence unto a place where I at rest should be:
8 Lo, then I would go far away, to fly 1 would not cease, And I would hide myself, and stay in some great wilderness.
9 I would be gone with speed and haste, and not abide behind, Till I had safely overpassed these blasts of boist'rous wind.
10 Divide them, Lord, and from them pull their false and double tongue; For I have spied their city full of rapine, strife, and wrong.
11 Both day and night they go about within the city wall; In midst of her is mischief wrought, and sorrows great withal:
12 Her inward parts are wicked plain, her deeds they are most vile, And in her streets there doth remain nothing but fraud and guile,
The Second Part.
13 If that my foes did seek my shame, I might it well abide; Because from all their check and blame, somewhere I could me hide:
15 But thou it was, my fellow dear, who friendship didst pretend, And didst my secret counsel hear as a familiar friend;
15 With whom I had delight to talk in secret and abroad; And we together oft did walk unto the house of God.
16 Let death in haste upon them fall, and send them quick to hell. For mischief doth abide in all the places where they dwell.
17 But I unto my God will cry, to him for aid I flee; The Lord will help me speedily, and he will succor me.
18 At morning, noon, and ev'ning tide, unto the Lord I'll pray; When I so constantly have cried, he did not say me nay.
19 To peace he shall restore me yet, though war be now at hand, Although the number be full great that do against me stand.
20 The Lord that first and last doth reign, both now and evermore, Will hear when I to him complain, and punish them full sore.
21 For sure there is no hope that they to turn will once accord; For why? they will not God obey, nor fear the living Lord
22 Upon their friends they laid their hands, who were in cov'nant knit; Of friendship to neglect the bands, they do not care one whit.
23 While they have war within their hearts, as butter are their words; And though they were as soft as oil, they cut as sharp as swords.
25 Cast thou thy care upon the Lord, and he shall nourish thee; For in no wise will he accord the just in thrall to see.
25 But God shall cast them deep in pit who thirst for blood always; He will no guileful man permit to live out half his days.
26 Though such be quite destroyed and gone, on him is all my stay; I will depend his grace upon with all my heart alway.