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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PSALM 34. BENEDICAM DOMINO, by                    
First Line: I, even I, will always
Last Line: Who him their trust esteem.

I, even I, will always
Give hearty thanks to Him on high,
And in my mouth continually
Inhabit shall His praise.
My soul shall glory still
In that dear Lord with true delight,
That hearing it, the hearts contrite
May learn their joys to fill.

Come then and join with me,
Somewhat to speak of His due praise,
Strive we that in some worthy phrase
His name may honored be.
Thus I begin. I sought
This Lord and He did hear my cry,
Yea, and from dreadful misery
He me, He only, brought.

This shall men's fancies frame
To look and run to Him for aid,
Whose faces on His comfort stayed
Shall never blush for shame.
For lo, this wretch did call,
And lo, his call the skies did climb;
And God freed him, in his worst time,
From out his troubles all.

His Angels armies round
About them pitch who Him do fear,
And watch and ward for such do bear
To keep them safe and sound.
I say but taste and see
How sweet, how gracious is His grace.
Lord, he is in thrice blessed case
Whose trust is all on Thee.

Fear God, ye saints of His,
For nothing they can ever want
Who faithful fears in Him do plant;
They have, and shall have, bliss.
The lions oft lack food,
Those raveners' whelps oft starved be,
But who seek God with constancy
Shall need nought that is good.

Come children, lend your ear
To me and mark what I do say,
For I will teach to you the way
How this our Lord to fear.
Among you, who is here
That life and length of life requires,
And blessing such with length desires,
As life may good appear?

Keep well thy lips and tongue
Lest inward evils do them defile,
Or that by words enwrapt in guile
Another man be stung.
Do good, from faults decline,
Seek peace and follow after it,
For God's own eyes on good men sit
And ears to them incline.

So His high heavenly face
Is bent, but bent against those same
That wicked be, their very name
From earth quite to displace.
The just when harms approach
Do cry, their cry of Him is heard,
And by His care from them is barred
All trouble, all reproach.

To humble, broken minds
This Lord is ever, ever near,
And will save whom His sight clear
In sprite afflicted finds.
Indeed the very best
Most great and grievous pains doth bear,
But God shall him to safety rear
When most he seems oppressed.

His bones he keepeth all,
So that not one of them is broke;
But malice shall the wicked choke;
Who hate the good shall fall.
God doth all souls redeem
Who wear His blessed livery;
None, I say still, shall ruined be
Who Him their trust esteem.

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