Metrical 'New Version' (Tate/Brady)
1 He that has God his guardian made,
Shall, under the Almighty's shade,
Secure and undisturb'd abide.
2 Thus to my soul of him I'll say,
He is my fortress and my stay,
My God, in whom I will confide.
3 His tender love and watchful care
Shall free thee from the fowler's snare,
And from the noisome pestilence:
4 He over thee his wings shall spread,
And cover thy unguarded head;
His truth shall be thy strong defence.
5 No terrors that surprise by night
Shall thy undaunted courage fright,
Nor deadly shafts that fly by day;
6 Nor plague of unknown rise, that kills
In darkness, nor infectious ills
That in the hottest season slay.
7 A thousand at thy side shall die,
At thy right hand ten thousand lie,
While thy firm health untouch'd remains;
8 Thou only shalt look on and see
The wicked's dismal tragedy,
And count the sinner's mournful gains.
9 Because, with well-plac'd confidence,
Thou mak'st the Lord thy sure defence,
And on the highest dost rely;
10 Therefore no ill shall thee befall,
Nor to thy healthful dwelling shall
Any infectious plague draw nigh.
11 For he, throughout thy happy days,
To keep thee safe in all thy ways
Shall give his angels strict commands;
12 And they, lest thou should'st chance to meet
with some rough stone to wound thy feet
Shall bear thee safely in their hands.
13 Dragons and asps, that thirst for blood,
And lions roaring for their food,
Beneath his conqu'ring feet shall lie;
14 Because he lov'd and honour'd me,
Therefore, says God, I'll set him free,
And fix his glorious throne on high.
15 He'll call; I'll answer, when he calls,
And rescue him when ill befalls;
Increase his honour and his wealth:
16 And when with undisturbed content
His long and happy life is spent,
His end I'll crown with saving health.
Metrical paraphrases by Isaac Watts
PART 1 (C. M.)
1 He that hath made his refuge God
Shall find a most secure abode,
Shall walk all day beneath his shade,
And there at night shall rest his head.
2 Then will I say, My God, thy power
Shall be my fortress and my tower;
I, that am formed of feeble dust,
Make thine almighty arm my trust.
3 Thrice happy man! thy Maker's care
Shall keep thee from the fowler's snare;
Satan, the fowler, who betrays
Unguarded souls a thousand ways.
4 Just as a hen protects her brood
From birds of prey that seek their blood,
Under her feathers, so the Lord
Makes his own arm his people's guard.
5 If burning beams of noon conspire
To dart a pestilential fire,
God is their life; his wings are spread
To shield them with a healthful shade.
6 If vapors with malignant breath
Rise thick, and scatter midnight death,
Israel is safe; the poisoned air
Grows pure, if Israel's God be there.
7 What though a thousand at thy side,
At thy right hand ten thousand died,
Thy God his chosen people saves
Amongst the dead, amidst the graves.
8 So when he sent his angel down
To make his wrath in Egypt known,
And slew their sons, his careful eye
Passed all the doors of Jacob by.
9 But if the fire, or plague, or sword,
Receive commission from the Lord
To strike his saints among the rest,
Their very pains and deaths are blest.
10 The sword, the pestilence, or fire,
Shall but fulfil their best desire;
From sins and sorrows set them free,
And bring thy children, Lord, to thee.
PART 2 (C. M.)
Ye sons of men, a feeble race,
Exposed to every snare,
Come, make the Lord your dwelling-place,
And try and trust his care.
No ill shall enter where you dwell;
Or if the plague come nigh,
And sweep the wicked down to hell,
'Twill raise his saints on high.
He'll give his angels charge to keep
Your feet in all their ways;
To watch your pillow while you sleep,
And guard your happy days.
Their hands shall bear you, lest you fall
And dash against the stones:
Are they not servants at his call,
And sent t' attend his sons?
Adders and lions ye shall tread;
The tempter's wiles defeat;
He that hath broke the serpent's head
Puts him beneath your feet.
"Because on me they set their love,
I'll save them," saith the Lord;
"I'll bear their joyful souls above
Destruction and the sword.
"My grace shall answer when they call,
In trouble I'll be nigh;
My power shall help them when they fall,
And raise them when they die.
"Those that on earth my name have known
I'll honor them in heav'n;
There my salvation shall be shown,
And endless life be giv'n."