Christopher Smart

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

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pg 195PSALM LXXXI.

  • 1To God our strength the strains repay
  • 2  With gladness and delight;
  • 3Make all the musick that you may
  • 4  To Christ's eternal might.
  • 5Take up your voice the psalm to swell,
  • Editor’s Note6  And strike the timbrel true;
  • 7Ye that on lute and harp excel
  • 8  The sprightly notes renew.
  • 9Blow up the trumpet, as you see
  • 10  The moon's increasing rays,
  • 11Nor bate a jot of that decree
  • 12  That bids us sing and praise.
  • 13For this was more coercive made
  • 14  By him that did no wrong,
  • Editor’s Note15Which met the night he was betray'd
  • 16  To hymn the parting song.
  • 17And this he likewise deign'd to teach,
  • 18  When Joseph's sons return'd
  • 19From tyrants of a foreign speech,
  • 20  With whom they had sojourn'd.
  • 21'Twas I, ev'n Christ, thy shoulders eas'd
  • 22  From weight they could not bear;
  • 23And loos'd thy hands by Pharaoh seiz'd,
  • 24  To shape the potter's ware.
  • 25I heard thee humbled and devout,
  • 26  And girt thy trembling reins;
  • 27When cataracts began to spout,
  • 28  And whirlwinds swept the plains.
  • pg 19629I prov'd thee in the floods of strife,
  • 30  Degraded for thy sake,
  • Editor’s Note31The fountain and the bread of life,
  • Editor’s Note32  Of which ye drank and brake.
  • 33Hear, O my flock, and rest assur'd,
  • 34  Thy hope is Jesus still;
  • 35For if thou had thyself inur'd
  • 36  To my most holy will;
  • 37Thy thoughts should not have been deprav'd
  • 38  To worship wood and stone;
  • 39The name in which thou must be sav'd
  • 40  Is Jesus Christ alone.
  • 41I am the Lord thy God that bought
  • Editor’s Note42  Thy ransom on the rood;
  • 43Ope then thy mouth, thou shalt be taught
  • 44  A taste for heav'nly food.
  • 45But ah! the fools and slow of heart
  • 46  The scriptures to believe
  • 47For ever from my laws depart;
  • 48  My prophets misconceive.
  • 49So for a season they were left
  • 50  To their licentious lust,
  • 51And of the grace of God bereft,
  • 52  Their own conceits to trust.
  • 53O that my people had an ear
  • 54  To that my words expound,
  • 55For if Jeshurun's faith and fear
  • 56  Had in my ways been found;
  • 57I should have silenc'd all the boast
  • 58  Of heathens at a blow,
  • 59And turn'd the Lord's victorious host
  • Editor’s Note60  Against their ghostly foe.
  • pg 19761The tongues that prophesy'd in hate
  • 62  Should have renounc'd their lies,
  • 63But deathless should have been their date,
  • Editor’s Note64  And their's th' immortal prize.
  • 65The shepherd had his best bestow'd
  • 66  To feed his faithful flock;
  • Editor’s Note67While streams of milk and honey flow'd
  • 68  From Jesus Christ thy rock.

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
81. 6 timbrel: AV.
Editor’s Note
81. 15–16 Matt. 26: 30.
Editor’s Note
81. 31 fountain: Rev. 21: 6. bread of life: John 6: 48.
Editor’s Note
81. 32 Matt. 26: 26–8.
Editor’s Note
81. 42 ransom: Matt. 20: 28.
Editor’s Note
81. 60 ghostly: spiritual.
Editor’s Note
81. 64 1 Cor. 9: 24–5. See Psalms 26. 42 and n.
Editor’s Note
81. 67–8 Combining the words of the psalm both with the familiar image of the promised land (e.g. Exod. 3:8), and with the Pauline image of Christ as the rock (1 Cor. 10:4), which itself is the antitype of Moses' provision of water from the dry rock (Exod. 17: 6).
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