Lord, Thou hast been Thy people’s rest
Through every generation:
Their refuge sure when peril pressed,
Their hope in tribulation:
Thou, ere the mountains sprang to birth,
Or ever Thou hadst formed the earth,
Art God from everlasting.
The sons of men return to clay
When Thou the word hast spoken,
As with a torrent swept away,
Gone like a vision broken.
A thousand years are in Thy sight
But as the passing hours of night,
Or yesterday departed.
Fair laugh the flowers, whose beauty new
The dews of morning cherish:
Pale evening comes; with fading hue
They hang their heads and perish.
So fade we in Thy righteous wrath:
Thine eyes behold our secret path,
Our deeds and thoughts of evil.
Soon, as a breath, the times are past
Of those who seem the strongest:
And if to seventy years they last,
Or fourscore, at the longest,
Life’s proudest strength is sorrow still.
Lord, who reveres Thy mighty will?
Who rightly dreads thy anger?
O teach us so to count our days
That we may prize them duly;
So guide our feet in wisdom’s ways
That we may love Thee truly:
Return, O Lord, our griefs behold,
And with Thy goodness, as of old,
O satisfy us early.
For long have been our days of pain,
And long our years of sadness:
To us display Thy grace again,
And to our sons Thy gladness;
O Lord our God, with favoring love
Shine forth; our handiwork approve,
And bless our daily labor.