Psalm 102 - Part One.
Verses 1-13, 20-21. 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 dry'd, my heart is broke,
And sinking in despair.
3 My spirits flag like withering 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 advanc'd me high,
Thy hand hath cast me down.
9 My looks like wither'd leaves appear,
And life's declining light
Grows faint as evening 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 shew 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 prisoners doom'd to die,
And fills their tongues with praise.
Psalm 102 - Part Two.
Prayer heard and Zion restored.
1 Let Zion and her sons rejoice,
Behold the promis'd 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 has name,
And kings attend with fear.
4 He sits a sovereign on his throne,
With pity in his eyes
He hears the dying prisoners groan,
And sees their sighs arise.
5 He frees the souls condemn'd to death,
And when his saints complain,
It shan'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.
Psalm 102 - Part Three.
Verses 23-28. Man's mortality and Christ's eternity.
1 It is the Lord our Saviour'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 shall assuage,
"Our Fattier and our Saviour live;
"Christ is the same thro' every age."
4 'Twas he this earth's foundation laid;
Heaven is the building of his hand:
This earth grows old, these heavens shall fade,
And all be chang'd at his command.
5 The starry curtains of the sky
Like garments shall be laid aside;
But still thy throne stands firm and 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 rais'd again.