The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.@Ecclesiastes 5:12
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Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David 1719; author of last stanza is unknown.

John J. McClellan, in the Deseret Sunday School Song Book, 1892 ( pdf nwc).

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John J. McClellan (1874-1925)

A Prisoner Singing Himself into Liberty

This was the case with Deacon Epa Norris during the war between Great Britain and the United States, in 1812. He lived in the Northern Neck, Va. Being captured and taken to a British vessel, they in vain sought to obtain from him the position and numbers of the American Army.

Dr. Belcher says: The commandant of the ship gave a dinner to the officers of the fleet, and did Mr. Norris the honor to select him from the American prisoners of war to be a guest. The deacon, in his homespun attire, took his seat at the table with the aristocracy of the British navy. The company sat long at the feast: they drank toasts, told stories, laughed and sang songs. At length Mr. Norris was called on for a song. He desired to excuse himself, but in vain: he must sing. He possessed a fine, strong, musical voice. In an appropriate and beautiful air, he commenced singing:—

Sweet is the work, my God, my King,
To praise thy name, give thanks, and sing.

Thoughts of home and of lost religious privileges, and of his captivity, imparted an unusual pathos and power to his singing. One stanza of the excellent psalm must have seemed peculiarly pertinent to the occasion:—

Fools never raise their thoughts so high:
Like brutes they live, like brutes they die;
Like grass they flourish, till thy breath
Blast them in everlasting death.

When the singing ceased, a solemn silence ensued. At length the commandant broke it by saying: Mr. Norris, you are a good man, and shall return immediately to your family. The commodore kept his word; for in a few days Mr. Norris was sent ashore in a barge, with a handsome present of salt,—then more valuable in the country than gold.

Long, p. 155

Sweet is the work, my God, my king,
To praise Thy name, give thanks and sing,
To show Thy love by morning light
And talk of all Thy truth at night.

Sweet is the day of sacred rest,
No mortal cares shall seize my breast.
O may my heart in tune be found,
Like David’s harp of solemn sound!

My heart shall triumph in my Lord
And bless His works and bless His Word.
Thy works of grace, how bright they shine!
How deep Thy counsels, how divine!

Fools never raise their thoughts so high;
Like brutes they live, like brutes they die;
Like grass they flourish, till Thy breath
Blast them in everlasting death.

But I shall share a glorious part,
When grace has well refined my heart;
And fresh supplies of joy are shed,
Like holy oil, to cheer my head.

Sin (my worst enemy before)
Shall vex my eyes and ears no more;
My inward foes shall all be slain,
Nor Satan break my peace again.

Then shall I see, and hear, and know
All I desired and wished below;
And every power find sweet employ
In that eternal world of joy.

And then what triumphs shall I raise
To Thy dear name through endless days,
For in the realms of joy I’ll see
Thy face in full felicity.

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David Playing the Harp Before King Saul