Psal. LXXXI.

A poem by John Milton

To God our strength sing loud, and clear,
Sing loud to God our King,
To Jacobs God, that all may hear
Loud acclamations ring.
Prepare a Hymn, prepare a Song
The Timbrel hither bring
The cheerfull Psaltry bring along
And Harp with pleasant string.
Blow, as is wont, in the new Moon
With Trumpets lofty sound,
Th'appointed time, the day wheron
Our solemn Feast comes round.
This was a Statute giv'n of old
For Israel to observe
A Law of Jacobs God, to hold
From whence they might not swerve.
This he a Testimony ordain'd
In Joseph, not to change,
When as he pass'd through Aegypt land;
The Tongue I heard, was strange.
From burden, and from slavish toyle
I set his shoulder free;
His hands from pots, and mirie soyle
Deliver'd were by me.
When trouble did thee sore assaile,
On me then didst thou call,
And I to free thee did not faile,
And led thee out of thrall.
I answer'd thee in *thunder deep
With clouds encompass'd round;
I tri'd thee at the water steep
Of Meriba renown'd.
Hear O my people, heark'n well,
I testifie to thee
Thou antient flock of Israel,
If thou wilt list to mee,
Through out the land of thy abode
No alien God shall be
Nor shalt thou to a forein God
In honour bend thy knee.
I am the Lord thy God which brought
Thee out of Aegypt land
Ask large enough, and I, besought,
Will grant thy full demand.
And yet my people would not hear,
Nor hearken to my voice;
And Israel whom I lov'd so dear
Mislik'd me for his choice.
Then did I leave them to their will
And to their wandring mind;
Their own conceits they follow'd still
Their own devises blind
O that my people would be wise
To serve me all their daies,
And O that Israel would advise
To walk my righteous waies.
Then would I soon bring down their foes
That now so proudly rise,
And turn my hand against all those
That are their enemies.
Who hate the Lord should then be fain
To bow to him and bend,
But they, His should remain,
Their time should have no end.
And he would free them from the shock
With flower of finest wheat,
And satisfie them from the rock
With Honey for their Meat.

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