1 O Lord God, unto whom alone
all vengeance doth belong;
O mighty God, who vengeance own’st,
shine forth, avenging wrong.
2 Lift up thyself, thou of the earth
the sov’reign Judge that art;
And unto those that are so proud
a due reward impart.
3 How long, O mighty God, shall they
who lewd and wicked be,
How long shall they who wicked are
thus triumph haughtily?
4 How long shall things most hard by them
be uttered and told?
And all that work iniquity
to boast themselves be bold?
5 Thy folk they break in pieces, Lord,
thine heritage oppress:
6 The widow they and stranger slay,
and kill the fatherless.
7 Yet say they, God it shall not see
nor God of Jacob know.
8 Ye brutish people! understand;
fools! when wise will ye grow?
9 The Lord did plant the ear of man,
and hear then shall not he?
He only form’d the eye, and then
shall he not clearly see?
10 He that the nations doth correct,
shall he not chastise you?
He knowledge unto man doth teach,
and shall himself not know?
11 Man’s thoughts to be but vanity
the Lord doth well discern.
12 Bless’d is the man thou chast’nest, Lord,
and mak’st thy law to learn:
13 That thou may’st give him rest from days
of sad adversity,
Until the pit be digg’d for those
that work iniquity.
14 For sure the Lord will not cast off
those that his people be,
Neither his own inheritance
quit and forsake will he:
15 But judgment unto righteousness
shall yet return again;
And all shall follow after it
that are right-hearted men.
16 Who will rise up for me against
those that do wickedly?
Who will stand up for me ’gainst those
that work iniquity?
17 Unless the Lord had been my help
when I was sore opprest,
Almost my soul had in the house
of silence been at rest.
18 When I had uttered this word,
(my foot doth slip away,)
Thy mercy held me up, O Lord,
thy goodness did me stay.
19 Amidst the multitude of thoughts
which in my heart do fight,
My soul, lest it be overcharg’d,
thy comforts do delight.
20 Shall of iniquity the throne
have fellowship with thee,
Which mischief, cunningly contriv’d,
doth by a law decree?
21 Against the righteous souls they join,
they guiltless blood condemn.
22 But of my refuge God’s the rock,
and my defence from them.
23 On them their own iniquity
the Lord shall bring and lay,
And cut them off in their own sin;
our Lord God shall them slay.
Common Metre (8,6,8,6)