Chapter 3: The Faithful Bewail Their Calamities -

ALEPH .

I'm by the rod of wrath divine
The man that hath seen wo;
He led and carried me and mine
To shades of darkness low,

But not unto a lightsome path;
Nay, in a hostile way
He's surely turn'd his hand in wrath,
'Gainst me he turns all day.

Beth .

My flesh and skin of young and fair,
Old and decay'd he made;
Did break my bones; and building rear,
My strong holds to invade.

He me encompass'd and entwin'd,
With gall and travel sore:
In places dark he me enshrin'd,
As men long dead before.

G IMEL .

He hedg'd me in, I can't get out;
His heavy chain I bear;
My pray'r he, when I cry and shout,
Shuts out, and scorns to hear.

My ways inclos'd, as with a wall
Of firm hewn stone he hath;
And to defeat my counsels all
He crooked made my path.

D ALETH .

He close laid wait as for the prey
A lion and a bear;
And turning quite aside my way,
Did me in pieces tear:

He laid me waste, and in the dark,
His bow of fury hot,
He bent, and at me as a mark
His barbed iron shot.

H E .

His quiver-darts, so fierce set off,
Into my reins made way;
To all the folk I was a scoff,
Their music all the day.

I'm made the subject of their song,
And fill'd until I shrunk
With bitterness and wormwood strong
With which he made me drunk.

V AU .

With gravel stones my teeth he brake;
With ashes cover'd me;
From peace my soul now gone to wreck,
Is far remov'd by thee.

Forgetting bliss as overpast,
I spake this desp'rate word,
" My strength is gone, my hope is lost,
And perish'd from the Lord. "

Z AIN .

Despair was fed by minding all
My miseries and woes;
The bitter wormwood and the gall,
My soul keeps mind of those:

Hence sunk and bow'd within me 'tis;
But why so very sad?
Despair, begone; I've hope from this,
I mind anon to add.

C HETH .

'Tis of the Lord's compassions great
And his unfailing love,
We are not all consum'd as yet,
For still his bowels move:

They new with every morning roll;
Thy truth is great and high:
The Lord's my portion, saith my soul;
Hence in him hope will I.

T ETH .

God's good to them that on him wait,
To souls that seek his face.
'Tis good that one, with hope sedate,
Expect his saving grace.

And for a man, by sorrow broke,
'Tis good with silent mouth,
And heart submiss to bear the yoke
And trouble in his youth.

J OD .

He quiet sits alone brought low
By having borne the rod;
With mouth put in the dust, if so
There may be hope in God.

His cheek he to the smiter's will
Revengeless doth assign;
Fill'd with reproach, he bears the fill,
With patience half divine.

C APH .

The Lord will not reject for aye:
But though he causeth grief;
Yet he his pity will display,
And timely grant relief.

His mercies thwart not with his dart,
For when he smites, ev'n then
Not willingly nor from his heart,
He grieves the sons of men.

L AMED .

Men's cruel deeds they can't abide,
To crush earth's captive race,
To turn the poor man's right aside,
Before the sovereign's face;

To violate the sacred laws
Of justice and of right,
And judge unjustly in a cause,
Are hateful in his sight.

M EM .

Who's he that speaks, and then 'tis done,
When nay's Jehovah's will?
Out from the mouth of th' highest One
Comes not both good and ill.

O why then should a living man
Dare enter his complaint
For penal ill; a guilty man
For's own sin's punishment?

N UN .

Come let us search and try our ways,
Not murmur at the rod,
But for our sins our souls abase,
And turn again to God.

Let us lift up our heart and hands
Whole to the God of heav'n:
We have rebell'd 'gainst thy commands;
Thou, Lord, hast not forgiven.

S AMEOH .

Thy wrath us hid, pursu'd, nor stopt,
But slew and did not spare;
Thyself hid with a cloud that opt
No through-pass for our pray'r.

The world's vile filth thou hast us made,
With which contempt they use;
We lie among the nations spread,
The scum and the refuse.

P E .

Wide mouths 'gainst us our en'mies all
Have made, and scoffing joy'd;
Fear and a snare upon us fall.
We're wasted and destroy'd.

Mine eyes to weeping fountains turn,
Whence briny rivers flow,
While I my people's daughter mourn,
And moan her overthrow.

A IN .

With tears still trickling down, mine eye
Incessant cannot rest,
Till God look down, and, from on high,
Behold our case distress'd.
Mine eye affects my heart with pain,
To see the ruin vast
Of Salem's race, the doleful bane
I see, and stand aghast.

T ZADE .

With causeless hate my eager foes,
Me like a bird did chase;
My life within the dungeon close,
Then with a stone depress.

High did the swelling waters grow,
My head was overflown,
Then said my hopeless heart, " I'm now
Cut off, and quite undone. "

K OPH .

Time was, when from the dungeon low
I pray'd, and thou didst hear:
Lord, hide not from my breathing now,
Nor from my cry thine ear.

What day of dread I call'd on thee,
Thou didst not stand remote,
But drewest near to comfort me,
By saying, F EAR THOU NOT .

R ESH .

Lord, thou the causes of my soul
Wast wont to plead for me;
Thy love did threat'ning death's control,
My life to save and free.

Judge now my cause, Lord; thou hast seen
My wrongs by men of strife,
Seen all their rage and vengeance keen,
And plots against my life.

S HIN .

Lord, thou their vile reproach hast heard,
Their machinations all;
The lips of those that rose and jeer'd,
And spat at me their gall.

Their daily projects me to drub,
Their sitting down espy,
And rising up at every club
Their music still am I.

T AU .

Reward them as from thee they swerve,
Their heart with grief consume,
To shew they for their works deserve
Thy curse to be their doom.

As me they chase and sue to death,
With them in wrath be ev'ns:
Pursue and raze them from beneath
The great Jehovah's heav'ns.
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