Christopher Smart

Marcus Walsh (ed.), The Poetical Works of Christopher Smart, Vol. 3: A Translation of the Psalms of David

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PSALM LXXVII.

  • 1To God I will my voice direct,
  • 2  A voice of love and fear,
  • 3And it shall have the due effect
  • Editor’s Note4  With his paternal ear.
  • 5To Christ my Saviour I complain
  • 6  Midst sores and raging smart;
  • 7When tedious night increases pain,
  • 8  Discomfort damps my heart.
  • pg 1799When grief o'erpow'rs with its excess
  • 10  My mind, and blunts her edge,
  • 11My soul's vexation for redress
  • 12  I will to God alledge.
  • 13Mine eyes thy plagues withhold from rest,
  • 14  And on my slumbers break;
  • 15I am so feeble and oppress'd,
  • 16  That I can scarcely speak.
  • 17I have reflected on the years
  • 18  With happy seasons clast,
  • 19And strove to sooth my streaming tears
  • 20  By thinking on the past.
  • 21I call to mind my dawn and noon,
  • 22  Which were the themes of song,
  • 23And with my heart by night commune,
  • 24  To make my spirits strong.
  • 25Will God from mine incessant cries
  • 26  Eternal absence keep,
  • 27And will he send no more supplies
  • 28  To those that pray and weep?
  • 29Are all his mercies wholly gone,
  • 30  That nothing can restore,
  • 31And are his promises withdrawn
  • 32  For ever, evermore?
  • 33Has God forgotten to be kind
  • 34  When mortals are diseas'd,
  • 35And shall his goodness be confin'd,
  • 36  Because he is displeas'd?
  • Editor’s Note37My guilt precipitates my sand—
  • 38  I therefore will recall
  • 39The days of God's indulgent hand
  • 40  To Jacob more than all:
  • pg 180Editor’s Note41Thy charity to restiff souls
  • 42  Thy works and arm sublime;
  • 43And I will recognize the rolls
  • 44  Of antiquated time.
  • 45I will on that convincing force
  • 46  Of all thine actions dwell,
  • 47And in colloquial intercourse
  • 48  Thy truth and marvels tell.
  • Editor’s Note49Thy ways are very truth and light,
  • 50  And thee their God declare;
  • 51What pow'r in magnitude and might
  • 52  Can with our God compare?
  • 53Thou art the God, which self-aver'd
  • 54  Such wonders couldst atchieve;
  • 55And hast promulg'd thy pow'rful word,
  • 56  That mortals might believe.
  • 57The people whom thy might restor'd,
  • 58  Thy mercy shall acquit,
  • Editor’s Note59Redeeming Jacob from the sword,
  • 60  And Joseph from the pit.
  • 61The waters saw thee, O Most High,
  • 62  The waters were afraid,
  • Editor’s Note63And ocean left his bottom dry,
  • 64  His inmost depths dismay'd.
  • 65The clouds their copious rain distill'd,
  • 66  And midst the waters hot
  • 67The sounding air the thunder fill'd,
  • 68  And all thy darts were shot.
  • 69Thy thunder's voice was heard around,
  • 70  The quickning lightnings shone,
  • 71And run and flash upon the ground,
  • 72  Earth's hollow caverns groan.
  • pg 18173Thy way is where the waters yield,
  • 74  And in the briny baths,
  • 75And there thy footsteps are conceal'd,
  • 76  Nor can one trace thy paths.
  • 77Their way, like sheep, thy people won
  • 78  Before the shepherd's rod,
  • 79Their priest was Aaron, Jethro's son
  • 80  Their chief, and Christ their God.

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
77. 4 ear: 'he gave ear' AV; 'he shall hearken' BCP.
Editor’s Note
77. 37 'My guilt hastens the sands of my life through the hourglass.' Cf. OED sand sb.2 5.
Editor’s Note
77. 41 restiff: the spelling given in Johnson's Dictionary; so spelt also at Psalms 95. 35.
Editor’s Note
77. 49 John 12: 46, 14: 6.
Editor’s Note
77. 59–60 Jacob from the sword: in Gen. 27: 40, 41 Isaac makes to Esau the prediction 'by thy sword shalt thou live', and Esau determines to kill Jacob. Joseph from the pit: where he was thrown by his brothers (Gen. 37: 20–8).
Editor’s Note
77. 63 Cf. Exod. 14: 16; Isa. 44: 27; Nahum 1: 4.
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