Psalm 81

Words: Robert Pont, 1564, as in  The Scottish Psalter of 1635
Note: Patrick Millar, in "Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody" says about Pont's versifications: "Some of his versions defy the efforts of even skilled choirs to fit them to their proper melodies." 

Edward Millar lists the metre of this version as: 9898 665(Troch.) 665 (Dactl.) 

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Psalm 81:
French 33rd, c 1560.
Harmony by Edward Millar, c1635.
   1  To God our strength most comfortable
      With merry hearts sing and rejoice:
      To Jacob's God most amiable,
      Make melody with cheerful voice.
   2     Go take up the Psalms,
         The timbrel with shalmes. ***
         Bring forth now let see,
         The harp full of pleasure
         With viol in measure,
         That well can agree.
   3  At our feast day, as we were wonted,
      Let blow the trumpets merrily;
      The first day of the Month appointed
      This to be kept solemnly.
   4     For (as time hath served)
         Israel observed
         This statute of old:
         And this is the order,
         Which their God to honor
         Jacob's seed did hold.
   5  He laid his law unto the linage
      of Joseph, parting from the land
      of Egypt, where I heard a language
      Uncouth and strange to understand.
   6     Then my force up-rearing
         From the burdens bearing
         His shoulders I took:
         And eke the task-master
         The pots and the plaster
         His hands then forsook.
   7  Thou calledst being brought at under,
      And I did rid thee from distress;
      Within the secret of my thunder
      I heard thy grudgings more and less:
         I did also prove thee
         My goodness above thee,
         When thou didst mistrust,
         At Meribah chiding,
         For waters providing,
         To serve thee at lust.
   8  Hearken my people, I assure thee
      O Israel, if thou would hear:
   9  Thou shouldst let no strange God allure thee,
      Nor other gods worship or fear.
  10     For I am the eternal,
         Thy great God supernal,
         Which from Egypt's thrall
         Have brought thee so safely;
         Thy mouth open largely,
         And fill it I shall.
  11  But yet my people whom I chusèd
      My voice they would not hear, I say:
      And israel proudly refusèd
      On me their loving Lord to stay:
  12     Therefore I did leave them,
         Even as their hearts gave them,
         To serve their ingine:
         After lewd enticings
         Of their own devisings,
         So did they decline.
  13  Oh, if my folk had not forsaken,
      To hearken unto me those days:
      Oh, if that Israel had taken
      Delight to walk in my true ways.
  14     Then could I have reason
         In a little season
         Their foes to subdue:
         And mine hand have turned
         Upon such as spurned
         My saints to pursue.
  15  The haters of the Lord should never
      But flatter him by force constrained;
      And a most prosperous time for ever
      Should to my people have remained.
  16     Thou shouldst then have been fed
         With most finest wheat bread,
         Even at thine own will;
         And with the sweet honey
         Of the rock so stony
         I would thee fulfill.
*** shalmes -- if anyone knows this word, please let us know its meaning.

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