1 Blest object of my soul's desire,
To thee my grateful thoughts aspire;
On thee my stedfast hope I build;
My God, my rest, my rock, my shield:
2 The strength of my salvation thee,
And tow'r of sure defence, I see;
Protected by thy pow'rful arm,
No danger can my soul alarm:
3 What foe shall e'er my terror raise,
While thus I pay my debt of praise,
And, as the doubtful field I tread,
To God my suppliant hands outspread?
4 Woes heap'd on woes my heart deplor'd,
While sin's tumultuous torrents roar'd,
And, spreading wide before my view,
Their gloomy horrors round me threw.
5 The sepulchre's extended hands
Had wrapt me in its strongest bands,
And Death, insulting, o'er my head
Th'inextricable toils had spread.
6 My words, as griev'd to God I pray,
Wing to his heav'nly fane their way,
Through adverse clouds their passage clear,
Nor unaccepted reach his ear;
7 With strong convulsions groan'd the ground,
The hills, with waving forests crown'd,
Loos'd from their base, their summits nod,
And own the presence of their God:
8 Collected clouds of wreathing smoke
Forth from his angry nostrils broke,
And orbs of fire, with dreadful glare,
Rush'd onward through the glowing air.
9 Incumbent on the bending sky
The Lord descended from on high,
And bade the darkness of the pole
Beneath his feet tremendous roll.
10 The cherub to his car he join'd,
And on the wings of mightiest wind,
As down to Earth his journey lay,
Resistless urg'd his rapid way.
11 Thick-woven clouds, around him clos'd,
His secret residence compos'd,
And waters high-suspended spread
Their dark pavilion o'er his head.
12 In vain reluctant to the blaze
That previous pour'd its streaming rays,
As on he moves, the clouds retire,
Dissolv'd in hail and rushing fire:
13 His voice th'almighty Monarch rear'd,
Through heav'n's high vault in thunders heard,
And down in fiercer conflict came
The hailstones dire and mingled flame.
14 With aim direct his shafts were sped,
In vain his foes before them fled;
Now here, now there, his lightnings stray,
And sure destruction marks their way:
15 Earth's basis open to the eye,
And ocean's springs, were seen to lie,
As, chiding loud, his fury past,
And o'er them breath'd the dreadful blast.
16 God in my rescue from the skies
His arm extends, and bids me rise
Emergent from the flood profound,
Whose waves my struggling soul surround,
17 His hand my strongest foes repell'd,
Their force by force superior quell 'd,
And I, unequal to the fight,
Ev'n I have triumph 'd in his might.
18 Oppress'd with languor, grief, and pain,
Ere yet my nerves their strength regain,
His fierce assault th'invader gave;
But thou wert present, Lord, to save:
19 My spacious path by thee outspread,
With course secure behold me tread;
From thee, when terrors clos'd me round,
My soul its fullest succour found.
20 Blest in the favour of my God,
I speak the grace on all bestow'd,
Who guiltless hands to him can raise,
And offer unpolluted praise.
21 His precepts, fix'd before my view,
My thoughts with stedfast aim pursue,
Nor error's cloud nor arts of sin
My soul from his obedience win.
22 Thou seest, eternal Judge, my breast
Each taint of inward guilt detest;
Thine eye my innocence surveys,
Thy pow'r with fullest bliss repays,
23 Thy ways to ours conform: in thee
The holy shall the holy see,
The pure the pure; the perfect mind
In thee perfection's self shall find:
24 Their arts the men of froward turn
Surpass'd by deeper art shall mourn,
While they their pow'rs with effort vain
Unite against the pious train.
25 By Thee their Guardian, ever nigh,
The poor are sav'd; the haughty eye,
Chastis'd by thy abiding stroke,
Bends to the earth its humbled look.
26 While night's thick shades around me stand,
My lamp, illumin'd by thy hand,
Pours through the gloom its steady ray,
And turns my darkness into day.
27 My arm, if thou thine aid supply,
Shall bid whole hosts before me fly ;
My feet, if thou my sinews string,
High o'er the wall exulting spring.
28 Author of good! nor sin, nor guile
The pureness of thy path defile;
On thy tried word who build their trust,
Shall find their confidence was just.
29 What God but Thee shall Israel know,
Or who, O who can save but thou ?
'Tis God that arms me for the fight,
'Tis God that girds my soul with might ;
30 Upheld by him, in air sublime,
Swift as the hind, the rock I climb,
Girded with strength, there fix my stand,
Safe from each proud invader's hand.
31 By him inform'd, with surest art
My hands direct the pointed dart,
And forceful break the steely bow,
New wrested from the struggling foe.
32 Thou, mightiest Lord, hast o'er my head
The shield of thy salvation spread;
Thee its defence my soul has found,
And gratefully thy succour own'd.
33 By thy right hand I walk'd upheld,
Great in thy mercy trod the field
With step enlarg'd, and, thou my guide,
Nor fear'd to fall, nor knew to slide.
34 With fierce pursuit my foes I press'd,
Beheld my spear their flight arrest,
Nor bade my sword its fury stay,
Till prostrate on the earth they lay.
35 They bow'd, they fell, distain'd with gore;
They bow'd, they fell, and rose no more:
My foes, beneath my feet o'erthrown,
The terrors of my hand have known.
36 Blest Lord! 'Twas thy resistless pow'r
That arm'd me for the dreadful hour,
Their backs expos'd to many a wound,
And stretch'd them breathless on the ground.
37 Aloud, oppress'd with horror, cried
The rebel throng; but none replied:
To God they call; but God their pray'r,
Abhorrent, scatters to the air.
38 Behold their troops before me chas'd,
As dust before the driving blast,
And trampled, as the yielding clay
Extended o'er the beaten way.
39 When factious crowds against me rose,
How prompt thy hand to interpose!
O'er realms, that have but heard my name,
Through thee the just command I claim;
40 The tribes, that from their God estrang'd
Through climes to me unknown had rang'd,
With flatt'ring lip their homage pay,
And trembling own a foreign sway.
41 In vain they seek themselves to hide
In walls and forts their strength and pride,
Each dreads my vengeance to sustain,
Nor walls nor forts their fears restrain.
42 Blest be the living God, whose aid,
When impious foes my peace invade,
Their rage instructs me to decline,
And makes his wish'd salvation mine;
43 His pow'r inflicts th'avenging stroke,
And bends the nations to my yoke,
Each force, that durst my reign contest,
By his resistless strength suppress'd.
44 For this, thy pow'r my song shall claim,
And distant regions hear thy fame,
Whose hands thy David to the throne
Have rais'd; whose oil his temples own.
45 Prosperity and fair success
His counsels and his arms shall bless,
Thy love on him and on his line
With unextinguish'd lustre shine.