Where, Lord, shall I my refuge see? (Samuel Webbe)

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  • (Posted 2011-02-14)  CPDL #23143:        (Sibelius 3)
Editor: Edmund Gooch (submitted 2011-02-14).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 34 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: The flat sign on the A in bar 16, beat 4, in the second part is editorial (no accidental is marked in the original). The first stanza only of the text is underlaid in the source, with subsequent stanzas printed after the music: these have been underlaid editorially.

General Information

Title: Where, Lord, shall I my refuge see?
Composer: Samuel Webbe
Lyricist: James Merrick

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SSB
Genre: SacredHymn

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1794 in Improved Psalmody, p. 166
Description: A setting of Psalm 39, verses 9-14, in James Merrick's metrical version. This setting, composed by Samuel Webbe (sr.), compiled by William Dechair Tattersall. Hymn Tune Index tune number 6866.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Where, Lord, shall I my refuge see?
On whom repose my hope but thee?
O purge my guilt, nor let my foe,
Exulting, mock my heightened woe.
Convinced that thy paternal hand
Inflicts but what my sins demand,
I speechless sat; nor plaintive word,
Nor murmur from my lips was heard.

But O, in thy appointed hour
Withdraw thy rod; lest nature's pow'r,
While griefs on griefs my heart assail,
Unequal to the conflict, fail.
O how thy chastisements impair
The human form, however fair!
How frail the strongest frame we see,
If thou the sinner's fate decree!

As when the fretting moths consume
The labour of the curious loom,
The texture fails, the dyes decay,
And all its lustre fades away.
Such, man, thy state! then humbled, own
That vanity and thou are one;
Thyself, when in the balance weighed,
A nothing, and thy life a shade.