POETRY: In Pilgrim Life Our Rest by Edwin Sandys

In Pilgrim Life Our Rest by Edwin Sandys

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. (Psalm 90:7-17)

In pilgrim life our rest,
In thralled estate our stay;
From age to age thou, Lord, hast been
And saved us from decay.
Thyself, ere birth to hills,
To Earth ere form didst give;
Ere world hadst framed; from aye to aye
All glorious God dost live.
But man, thy creature fallen,
Thy justice doth pursue
To dust, and saith, “Ye Adam’s sons,
Return when first ye grew.”

When thousand years we lived,
Those thousand in thy sight
Not more appeared than one day past,
Than watch in shortest night.
Since when our dream-like life,
As weakest herb, soon dies;
Which morn makes flower, hot noon bids fade,
Sad even mows down and dries.
What have our toils achieved?
Through anger thine, our day
Black night devours; our fruitless years
As thought fly vain away.

And comfort, cheer us, Lord,
As chastised long by thee;
Much ill our woeful eyes have seen;
Like joy so cause us see.
This joy with life shall last.
Then let thy work grow clear
Toward servants thine; on children there
Thy glory make appear.
And let God’s pleasèd face,
Us with is beauties bless
And from our works; O Thou, our works
To happiest end address.

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