Wherefore is it that Thou, O Lord,
Dost stand from us afar?
And wherefore hidest Thou Thyself,
When times so troublous are?
The wicked in his loftiness
Doth persecute the poor:
In these devices they have framed
Let them be taken sure.
The wicked of his heart’s desire
Doth talk with boasting great;
He blesseth him that’s covetous,
Whom yet the Lord doth hate.
The wicked, through his pride of face,
On God he doth not call;
And in the counsels of his heart
The Lord is not at all.
His ways they always grievous are;
Thy judgments from his sight
Removèd are: at all his foes
He puffeth with despite.
Within his heart he thus hath said,
I shall not movèd be;
And no adversity at all
Shall ever come to me.
His mouth with cursing, fraud, deceit,
Is filled abundantly;
And underneath his tongue there is
Mischief and vanity.
He closely sits in villages;
He slays the innocent:
Against the poor that pass him by
His cruel eyes are bent.
He, lion-like, lurks in his den;
He waits the poor to take;
And when he draws him in his net,
His prey he doth him make.
Himself he humbleth very low,
He croucheth down withal,
That so a multitude of poor
May by his strong ones fall.
He thus hath said within his heart,
The Lord hath quite forgot;
He hides His countenance, and He
For ever sees it not.
O Lord, do Thou arise; O God,
Lift up Thine hand on high:
Put not the meek afflicted ones
Out of Thy memory.
Why is it that the wicked man
Thus doth the Lord despise?
Because that God will it require
He in his heart denies.
Thou hast it seen; for their mischief
And spite Thou wilt repay:
The poor commits himself to Thee;
Thou art the orphan’s stay.
The arm break of the wicked man,
And of the evil one;
Do Thou seek out his wickedness,
Until Thou findest none.
The Lord is king through ages all,
E’en to eternity;
The heathen people from His land
Are perished utterly.
O Lord, of those that humble are
Thou the desire didst hear;
Thou wilt prepare their heart, and Thou
To hear wilt bend Thine ear;
To judge the fatherless, and those
That are oppressèd sore;
That man, that is but sprung of earth,
May them oppress no more.