Words: Isaac Watts
v. 1--13,20, 21. PART 1. A prayer of the afflicted.
1 Hear me, O God, nor hide thy face; But answer, lest I die; Hast thou not built a throne of grace To hear when sinners cry?
2 My days are wasted like the smoke Dissolving in the air; My strength is dried, my heart is broke, And sinking in despair.
3 My spirits flag like with'ring grass Burnt with excessive heat; In secret groans my minutes pass, And I forget to eat.
4 As on some lonely building's top The sparrow tells her moan, Far from the tents of joy and hope I sit and grieve alone.
5 My soul is like a wilderness, Where beasts of midnight howl; There the sad raven finds her place, And there the screaming owl.
6 Dark, dismal thoughts, and boding fears, Dwell in my troubled breast; While sharp reproaches wound my ears, Nor give my spirit rest.
7 My cup is mingled with my woes, And tears are my repast; My daily bread, like ashes, grows Unpleasant to my taste.
8 Sense can afford no real joy To souls that feel thy frown; Lord, 'twas thy hand advanced me high, Thy hand hath cast me down.
9 My looks like withered leaves appear; And life's declining light Grows faint as ev'ning shadows are That vanish into night.
10 But thou for ever art the same, O my eternal God; Ages to come shall know thy name, And spread thy works abroad.
11 Thou wilt arise and show thy face, Nor will my Lord delay Beyond th' appointed hour of grace, That long-expected day.
12 He hears his saints, he knows their cry, And by mysterious ways Redeems the pris'ners doomed to die, And fills their tongues with praise.
v. 18--21. PART 2. Prayer heard, and Zion restored.
1 Let Zion and her sons rejoice, Behold the promised hour; Her God hath heard her mourning voice, And comes t'exalt his power.
2 Her dust and ruins that remain Are precious in our eyes; Those ruins shall be built again, And all that dust shall rise.
3 The Lord will raise Jerusalem And stand in glory there; Nations shall bow before his name, And kings attend with fear.
4 He sits a sov'reign on his throne, With pity in his eyes; He hears the dying pris'ners' groan, And sees their sighs arise.
5 He frees the souls condemned to death, And when his saints complain, It sha'n't be said, "That praying breath Was ever spent in vain."
6 This shall be known when we are dead, And left on long record; That ages yet unborn may read, And trust, and praise the Lord.
1 It is the Lord our Savior's hand Weakens our strength amidst the race; Disease and death at his command Arrest us, and cut short our days.
2 Spare us, O Lord, aloud we pray, Nor let our sun go down at noon; Thy years are one eternal day, And must thy children die so soon?
3 Yet in the midst of death and grief This thought our sorrow should assuage: Our Father and our Savior live; Christ is the same through ev'ry age.
4 'Twas he this earth's foundation laid; Heav'n is the building of his hand; This earth grows old, these heav'ns shall fade And all be changed at his command.
5 The starry curtains of the sky, Like garments, shall be laid aside; But still thy throne stands firm on high, Thy church for ever must abide.
6 Before thy face thy church shall live, And on thy throne thy children reign; This dying world shall they survive, And the dead saints be raised again.