Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1607–1764
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. I–II: Colonial Literature, 1607–1764
Songs of the Puritans
The Bay Psalm Book
[The First Book Printed in America. Supervised by Richard Mather, Thomas Welde and John Eliot. The Preface was written by Mather. Printed by Stephen Daye, at Cambridge, Mass., 1640.]

From the Preface

IF therefore the verses are not alwayes so smooth and elegant as some may desire or expect; let them consider that Gods Altar needs not our pollishings: Ex. 20. for wee have respected rather a plaine translation, then to smooth our verses with the sweetnes of any paraphrase, and soe have attended Conscience rather then Elegance, fidelity rather then poetry, in translating the hebrew words into english language, and Davids poetry into english meetre; that soe we may sing in Sion the Lords songs of prayse according to his owne will; untill hee take us from hence, and wipe away all our teares, & bid us enter into our masters ioye to sing eternall Halleluiahs.


To the chiefe Musician, a psalme of Dauid, the servant of the Lord, who spake the words of this Song, in the day that the Lord deliuered him from the hands of all his enemies, & from the hand of Saule, and hee Sayde,
  IL’e dearely love thee, Lord, my strength:
  The Lord is my rock, and my towre,
  and my deliverer, my God,
  I’le trust in him who is my powre,
  My shield, & my salvationes-horne,        5
3  my high-fort; Who is prayse worthy,
  I on the Lord will call, so shall
  I bee kept from mine enemye.
4  Deaths sorrowes mee encompassed,
  mee fear’d the floods of ungodlie,        10
5  Hells pangs beset me round about,
  the snares of death prevented mee.
6  I in my streights, cal’d on the Lord,
  and to my God cry’d: he did heare
  from his temple my voyce, my crye,        15
  before him came, unto his eare.
7  Then th’ earth shooke, & quak’t, & motaines
  roots mov’d, & were stird at his ire,
8  Vp from his nostrils went a smoak,
  and from his mouth devouring fire:        20
  By it the coales inkindled were.
9  Likewise the heavens he downe-bow’d,
  and he descended, & there was
  under his feet a gloomy cloud.
10  And he on cherub rode, and flew;        25
  yea he flew on the wings of winde.
11  His secret place hee darknes made
  his covert that him round confinde,
  Dark waters, & thick clouds of skies.
12  From brightnes, that before him was,        30
  his thickned clouds did passe away,
  hayl-stones and coales of fire did passe.
13  Also Iehovah thundered,
  within the heavens, the most high
  likewise his angry-voyce did give,        35
  hayl-stones, and coales of fire did fly.
14  Yea he did out his arrows send,
  and bruising he them scattered,
  and lightnings hee, did multiply,
  likewise he them discomfited.        40
15  The waters channels then were seene,
  and the foundationes of the world
  appear’d; at thy rebuke, at blast,
  of the breath of thy nostrils Lord.
*        *        *        *        *
To the chlefe Musician a psalme of David.

THe heavens doe declare
        the majesty of God:
  also the firmament shews forth
        his handy-work abroad.
2  Day speaks to day, knowledge
        night hath to night declar’d.        50
3  There neither speach nor language is,
        where their voyce is not heard.
4  Through all the earth their line
        is gone forth, & unto
  the utmost end of all the world,        55
        their speaches reach also:
  A Tabernacle hee
        in them pitcht for the Sun.
5  Who Bridegroom like from’s chamber goes
        glad Giants-race to run.        60
6  From heavens utmost end,
        his course and compassing;
  to ends of it, & from the heat
        thereof is hid nothing.
*        *        *        *        *
A psalme of david.

THe earth Iehovahs is,
        and the fulnesse of it:
  the habitable world, & they
        that there upon doe sit.
2  Because upon the seas,
        hee hath it firmly layd:        70
  and it upon the water-floods
        most sollidly hath stayd.
3  The mountaine of the Lord,
        who shall thereto ascend?
  and in his place of holynes,        75
        who is it that shall stand?
4  The cleane in hands, & pure
        in heart; to vanity
  who hath not lifted up his soule,
        nor sworne deceitfully.        80
5  From God he shall receive
        a benediction,
  and righteousnes from the strong-God
        of his salvation.
6  This is the progenie        85
        of them that seek thy face:
  of them that doe inquire for him:
        of Iacob ’tis the race.    Selah.
7  Yee gates lift-up your heads,
        and doors everlasting,        90
  be yee lift up: & there into
        shall come the glorious-King.
8  Who is this glorious King?
        Iehovah, puissant,
  and valiant, Iehovah is        95
        in battel valiant.
9  Yee gates lift-up your heads,
        and doors everlasting,
  doe yee lift-up: & there into
        shall come the glorious-King.        100
10  Who is this glorious-King?
        loe, it is Iehovah
  of warlike armies, hee the King
        of glory is; Selah.
PSALME XXIX.A psalme of David.

VNto the Lord doe yee ascribe
        (o Sonnes of the mighty)
  unto the Lord doe yee ascribe
        glory & potency.
2  Vnto the Lord doe yee ascribe
        his names glorious renowne,        110
  in beauty of his holynes
        unto the Lord bow downe.
3  The mighty voyce of Iehovah
        upon the waters is:
  the God of glory thundereth,        115
        God on great waters is.
4  Iehovahs voyce is powerfull,
        Gods voyce is glorious,
5  Gods voyce breaks Cedars: yea God breaks
        Cedars of Lebanus.        120
6  He makes them like a calfe to skip:
        the mountaine Lebanon,
  and like to a young Vnicorne
        the hill of Syrion.
7  Gods voyce divides the flames of fire.        125
8    Iehovahs voyce doth make
  the desart shake: the Lord doth cause
        the Cadesh-desart shake.
9  The Lords voyce makes the hindes to calve,
        and makes the forrest bare:        130
  and in his temple every one
        his glory doth declare.
10  The Lord sate on the flouds: the Lord
        for ever sits as King.
11  God to his folk gives strength: the Lord        135
        his folk with peace blessing.
To the chief musician, for the sonnes of Korah, a song upon Alemoth.

GOD is our refuge, strength, & help
        in troubles very neere.
2  Therefore we will not be afrayd,
        though th’ earth removed were.        140
  Though mountaines move to midst of seas
3    Though waters roaring make
  and troubled be, at whose swellings
        although the mountaines shake.    Selah.
4  There is a river streames whereof        145
        shall rejoyce Gods city:
  the holy place the tent wherin
        abideth the most high.
5  God is within the midst of her,
        moved shee shall not bee:        150
  God shall be unto her an help,
        in the morning early.
6  The nations made tumultuous noyse,
        the kingdomes moved were:
  he did give forth his thundering voyce        155
        the earth did melt with feare.
7  The God of Armies is with us
        th’ eternall Iehovah:
  the God of Iacob is for us
        a refuge high.    Selah.        160
8  O come yee forth behold the works
        which Iehovah hath wrought,
  the fearfull desolations,
        which on the earth he brought.
9  Vnto the utmost ends of th’ earth        165
        warres into peace hee turnes:
  the speare he cuts, the bowe he breaks,
        in fire the chariots burnes.
10  Be still, & know that I am God,
        exalted be will I        170
  among the heathen: through the earth
        I ’le be exalted hye.
11  The God of armyes is with us,
        th’ eternall Iehovah
  the God of Iacob is for us        175
        a refuge high.    Selah.
A psalme of David, when he was in the wilderness of Iudah.

O GOD, thou art my God, early
        I will for thee inquire:
  my soule thirsteth for thee, my flesh
        for thee hath strong desire,        180
  In land whereas no water is
        that thirsty is & dry.
2  To see, as I saw in thine house
        thy strength & thy glory.
3  Because thy loving kindenes doth        185
        abundantly excell
  ev’n life it selfe: wherefore my lips
        forth shall thy prayses tell.
4  Thus will I blessing give to thee
        whilst that alive am I:        190
  and in thy name I will lift up
        these hands of mine on high.
5  My soule as with marrow & fat
        shall satisfied bee:
  my mouth also with joyfull lips        195
        shall prayse give unto thee.
6  When as that I remembrance have
        of thee my bed upon,
  and on thee in the night watches
        have meditation.        200
7  Because that thou hast been to me
        he that to me help brings;
  therefore will I sing joyfully
        in shaddow of thy wings.
8  My soule out of an ardent love        205
        doth follow after thee:
  also thy right hand it is that
        which hath upholden mee.
9  But as for those that seek my soule
        to bring it to an end,        210
  they shall into the lower parts
        of the earth downe descend.
10  By the hand of the sword also
        they shall be made to fall:
  and they be for a portion        215
        unto the Foxes shall.
11  But the King shall rejoyce in God,
        all that by him doe sweare
  shall glory, but stopped shall be
        their mouths that lyars are.        220

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