Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PSALM 40. EXPECTANS EXPECTAVI, by OLD TESTAMENT BIBLE



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PSALM 40. EXPECTANS EXPECTAVI, by            
First Line: While long I did with patient constancy
Last Line: My god, o make no stay.


While long I did with patient constancy
The pleasure of my God attend,
He did himself to me-ward bend,
And hearkened how and why that I did cry,
And me from pit bemired,
From dungeon He retired,
Where I in horrors lay,
Setting my feet upon
A steadfast rocky stone,
And my weak steps did stay.

So in my mouth he did a song afford,
New song unto our God of praise,
Which many seeing hearts shall raise
To fear with trust, and trust with fear the Lord.
O he indeed is blessed,
Whose trust is so addressed,
Who bends not wandring eyes
To great men's peacock pride,
Nor ever turns aside
To follow after lies.

My God, Thy wondrous works how manifold,
What man Thy thoughts can count to Thee.
I fain of them would speaking be;
But they are more than can by me be told.
Thou sacrifice nor off'ring,
Burnt off'ring nor sin off'ring,
Didst like, much less didst crave;
But Thou didst pierce my ear,
Which should Thy lessons bear
And witness me Thy slave.

Thus bound, I said, lo, Lord, I am at hand,
For in Thy book's roll I am writ,
And sought with deeds Thy will to hit.
Yea, Lord, Thy law within my heart doth stand;
I to great congregation,
Thou know'st, made declaration
Of this sweet righteousness.
My lips shall still reveal,
My heart shall not conceal
Thy truth, health, graciousness.

Then, Lord, from me draw not Thy tender grace,
Me still in truth and mercy save,
For endless woes me compassed have,
So pressed with sins I cannot see my case.
But trial well doth teach me,
Foul faults sore pains do reach me,
More than my head hath hairs;
So that my surest part,
My life-maintaining heart,
Fails me, with ugly fears.

Vouchsafe me help, O Lord, and help with haste;
Let them have shame, yea, blush for shame,
Who jointly sought my bale to frame;
Let them be curst away that would me waste;
Let them with shame be cloyed;
Yea, let them be destroyed
For guerdon of their shame,
Who so unpiteous be
As now to say to me,
Aha! This is good game.

But fill their hearts with joy, who bend their ways
To seek Thy beauty past conceit;
Let them that love Thy saving seat
Still gladly say, unto our God be praise.
Though I in want be shrinking,
Yet God on me is thinking,
Thou art my help for aye;
Thou only, Thou, art He
That dost deliver me;
My God, O make no stay.





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