Psalm 88        J.H.

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

Common Metre Tunes

 1  Lord God of health, the hope and stay
       thou art alone to me:
    I call and cry throughout the day,
       and all the night to thee.

 2  O let my pray'r with speed ascend
       unto thy sight on high:
    Incline thine ear, O Lord, attend,
       and hearken to my cry.

 3  For why? with woe my heart is filled,
       and doth in trouble dwell,
    My life and breath doth almost yield,
       and draweth nigh to hell.

 4  I am esteemed as one of them
       that in the pit do fall,
    And made as one among those men
       that have no strength at all:

 5  As one among the dead, and free
       from things that here remain;
    It were more ease for me to be
       with them the which are slain;

 6  As those that lie in grave, I say,
       whom thou hast clean forgot,
    They which thy hand hath cut away,
       and thou regard'st them not,

 7  Yea, like to one shut up full sure
       within the lowest pit,
    In darksome place, and all obscure,
       and in the depth of it.

 8  Thy anger and thy wrath likewise
       full sore on me do lie,
    And all thy storms against me rise,
       my soul to vex and try.

 9  Thou putt'st my friends far off from me,
       and mak'st them hate me sore;
    I am shut up in prison fast,
       and can come forth no more.

10  My sight doth fail through grief and woe, 
       I call to thee, O God,
    Throughout the day my hands also
       to thee I stretch abroad.

   The Second Part. 

11  Dost thou unto the dead declare
       thy wondrous works of fame?
    Shall dead to life again repair,
       and praise thee for the same.

12  Or shall thy loving kindness, Lord,
       be show-ed in the grave?
    Or shall with them that are destroyed
       thy truth her honour have?

13  Shall they that lie in dark full low
       see all thy wonders great?
    Or there shall they thy justice know,
       where men all things forget?

14  But I, O Lord, to thee alway
       do cry and call apace:
    My pray'r also ere it be day
       shall come before thy face.

15  Why dost thou, Lord, abhor my soul
       in grief that seeketh thee?
    And now, O Lord, why dost thou hide
       thy face away from me?

16  I am afflicted, dying still
       from youth many a year;
    Thy terrors which do work me ill
       with troubled mind I bear.

17  The furies of thy wrathful rage
       full sore upon me lie:
    Thy terrors they do not assuage,
       but press me heavily.

18  All day they compass me about,
       as water at the tide;
    And all at once with streams full great
       beset me on each side.

19  Thou settest far from me my friends
       and lovers ev'ry one;
    Yea, and my old acquaintance all
       out of my sight are gone.

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Page last modified on: 07/29/2004