Sunday, May 27, 2018

Thy praise shall be my business still

1. God of my life, look gently down,
Behold the pains I feel;
But I am dumb before Thy throne,
Nor dare dispute Thy will.

2. Diseases are Thy servants, Lord,
They come at Thy command;
I’ll not attempt a murmuring word
Against Thy chastening hand.

3. Yet I may plead with humble cries,
Remove Thy sharp rebukes;
My strength consumes, my spirit dies,
Through Thy repeated strokes.

4. Crushed as a moth beneath Thy hand,
We molder to the dust;
Our feeble powers can ne’er withstand,
And all our beauty’s lost.

5. This mortal life decays apace,
How soon the bubble’s broke!
Adam and all his numerous race
Are vanity and smoke.

6. I’m but a sojourner below,
As all my fathers were;
May I be well prepared to go,
When I the summons hear!

7. But if my life be spared a while,
Before my last remove,
Thy praise shall be my business still,
And I’ll declare Thy love.

-- Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David, 1719

Some of the stanzas sung at a Sacred Harp Convention, to Timothy Swan’s tune POLAND.

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