1 What is the cause that thou, O Lord,
so far off now dost stand
Why hidest thou thy face in time
when trouble is at hand
2 The poor do perish by the proud
and wicked men's desire;
Let them be taken in the craft
which they themselves conspire.
3 For in the lust of his own heart
th' ungodly doth delight;
So doth the wicked praise himself,
and doth the Lord despite.
4 He is so proud, that right and wrong
he setteth all apart;
Nay, nay, there is no God, saith he,
for thus he thinks in heart.
5 Because his ways do prosper still,
he doth thy laws neglect;
And with a blast doth puff against
such as would him correct.
6 Tush, tush, saith he, I have no dread,
lest my estate should change;
And why? for all adversity
to him is very strange.
7 His mouth is full of cursedness,
of fraud, deceit, and guile;
Under his tongue there nothing is
but what is base and vile.
8 He lieth hid in ways and holes
to slay the innocent;
Against the poor that pass by him
his cruel eyes are bent.
9 And, like a lion, privily
lies lurking in his den,
That he may snare them in his net,
and spoil poor harmless men.
10 With cunning craft and subtlety
he croucheth down alway;
So are great heaps of poor men made
by his strong pow'r a prey.
The Second Part.
11 Tush, God forgetteth this, saith he,
therefore I may be bold;
His countenance is cast aside,
he doth it not behold.
12 Arise, O Lord our God, in whom
the poor man's hope doth rest;
Lift up thy hand, do not forget
the poor that be oppressed.
13 Why should the proud and wicked man
blaspheme God's holy Name
Whilst in his heart he crieth, tush,
God cares not for the same.
14 But thou seest all their wickedness,
and well dost understand,
That friendless and poor fatherless
are left into thy hand.
15 Of wicked and malicious men
then break the pow'r alway;
That they with their iniquity
may perish and decay.
16 The Lord doth reign for evermore
as King and God alone;
And he will chase out of the land
the heathen folk each one.
17 Thou hearest, Lord, the poor's complaint,
their pray'r and their request;
Their hearts thou wilt confirm, until
thine ears to hear be pressed.
18 To judge the poor and fatherless,
and help them to their right,
That they may be no more oppressed
by men of worldly might.