Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
Psalme CIII
CV. Thomas Sternhold
Benedic, anima mea.

MY soule, giue laud vnto the Lord,
  My spirite shall do the same;
And all the secrets of my heart,
  Praise ye his holy name.
Giue thanks to God for all his gifts;        5
  Shew not thyselfe vnkinde;
And suffer not his benefits
  To slip out of thy minde:
That gaue thee pardon for thy faults,
  And thee restord againe,        10
For all thy weake and frail disease,
  And heald thee of thy paine:
That did redeeme thy life from death,
  From which thou couldst not flee;
His mercy and compassion both        15
  He did extend to thee:
That fild with goodnesse thy desire,
  And did prolong thy youth,
Like as the egle casteth her bill,
  Whereby her age reneweth.        20
The Lord with iustice doth repay
  All such as be opprest;
So that their suffering and their wrongs
  Are turned to the best.
His wayes and his commandements        25
  To Moyses he did show;
His counsels and his valiant actes
  The Israelite did know.
The Lord is kinde and mercifull,
  When sinners do him grieue;        30
The slowest to conceiue a wrath,
  And reddiest to forgiue.
He chides not vs continually,
  Though we be full of strife;
Nor keepeth our faults in memory,        35
  For all our sinefull life:
Nor yet according to our sinnes
  The Lord doth vs regarde,
Nor after our iniquities
  He doth vs not rewarde.        40
But as the space is wondrous great
  ’Twixt earth and heauen aboue,
So is his goodnesse much more large
  To them that do him loue.
God doth remoue our sinnes from vs,        45
  And our offences all,
As farre as is the sunne rysing
  Full distant from his fall.
And looke, what pitty parents deare
  Vnto their children beare,        50
Like pitty beareth the Lord to such
  As worship him in feare.
The Lord that made vs knoweth our shape,
  Our mould and fashion iust;
How weake and frayle our nature is,        55
  And how we be but dust;
And how the tyme of mortall men
  Is like the withering hay,
Or like the flower right fayre in field,
  That fadeth full soone away:        60
Whose glosse and beauty stormy winds
  Do vtterly disgrace,
And make that after their assaults
  Such blossomes haue no place.
But yet the goodnesse of the Lord        65
  With his shall euer stand;
Their children’s children do receiue
  His goodnesse at his hand:
I meane, which keepe his couenant
  With all their whole desire,        70
And not forget to do the thing
  That he doth them require.
The heauens hye are made the seate
  And footestole of the Lord,
And by his power imperiall        75
  He gouerns all the world.
Ye angels, which are great in power,
  Prayse ye and blesse the Lord,
Which to obey and do his will
  Immediately accord.        80
Ye noble hostes and ministers,
  Cease not to laud him still;
Which ready are to execute
  His pleasure and his will.
Yea, all his workes in euery place,        85
  Prayse ye his holy name:
My heart, my minde, and eke my soule,
  Prayse ye also the same.

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