1 Grudge not to see the wicked men
in wealth to flourish still;
or envy such as ill to do
have bent and set their will.
2 For as the grass and the green herbs
do wither and decay,
So shall their great prosperity
soon fade and pass away.
3 Trust thou therefore in God alone,
to do well give thy mind,
So shalt thou have the land as thine,
and there sure food shalt find.
4 In God set all thy heart's delight,
and look what thou would'st have,
Or else canst wish in all the world,
thou need'st it not to crave.
5 Cast both thyself and thy affairs
on God with perfect trust;
And then thou shalt with patience see
Th' effect both sure and just.
6 Thy perfect life and godly name
he will clear as the light,
So that the sun, e'en at noon day,
shall not shine half so bright.
7 Be still therefore, and steadfastly
on God see thou wait then,
Not shrinking for the prosp'rous state
of vile and wicked men.
8 Shake off despite, envy, and hate,
let not thy anger rise,
That thou may'st not be drawn into
some sinful enterprise.
9 For ev'ry wicked man will God
most certainly destroy;
But such as trust in him are sure
the land for to enjoy.
10 Wait but awhile, and thou shalt see
no more the wicked train;
No, not so much as house or place
where once he did remain.
The Second Part
11 But merciful and humble men
enjoy shall sea and land;
In rest and peace they shall rejoice,
for nought shall them withstand.
12 The wicked and malicious do
against the just conspire;
They gnash their teeth at him, as men
who do his bane desire.
13 But while ungodly men thus think,
the lord laughs them to scorn;
For he doth see the time approach,
when they shall sigh and mourn.
14 The wicked have their sword withdrawn,
their bow is also bent,
To overthrow and kill the poor,
whose life is innocent.
15 But the same sword shall pierce their heart,
which was to kill the just;
So shall the bow in shivers break,
wherein they put their trust.
16 Doubtless, the just man's poor estate
is to be valued more
Than all the vile and wicked man's
rich pomp and heap-ed store.
17 For though their power be most strong,
God will it overthrow:
Where contrary he doth preserve
the humble man and low.
18 He sees by his great providence
the godly's upright way,
And will give them inheritance
which never shall decay.
19 Discouragèd they shall not be,
when some are hard bestead;
When others shall be hunger-bit,
they shall be clad and fed.
20 For whosoever wicked is,
and enemy to God,
Shall like the fat of lambs consume,
or smoke that flies abroad.
The Third Part
21 Behold, the wicked borrows much,
and payeth not again:
Whereas the just by lib'ral gifts
the needy doth sustain.
22 For they whom God doth bless shall have
the land for heritage;
And they whom he doth curse likewise
shall perish in his rage.
23 The Lord the just man's steps doth guide,
and all his ways doth bless;
To every thing he takes in hand
he giveth good success.
24 Though he doth fall, yet he is sure
not utterly to sink;
For God upholds him with his hand,
and from him will not shrink.
25 I have been young, but now am old,
and never yet saw I
The just man left, neither his seed
reduced to beggary.
26 He gives always most lib'rally,
and lends where there is need;
By which he doth from God secure
a blessing to his seed.
27 Therefore flee vice and wickedness,
and virtue do embrace;
So God shall grant thee long to have
on earth a dwelling place.
28 For God so loveth equity,
and shows to his such grace,
That he preserveth them, but doth
cut off the wicked race.
29 Whereas the good and godly men
inherit shall the land;
Having as lord's all things therein
in their own pow'r and hand.
30 The just man's mouth doth ever speak
of matters wise and high;
His tongue doth talk of judgment, and
of truth and equity.
31 For in his heart the law of God
doth evermore abide;
So that wherever he doth go,
his foot shall never slide.
32 The wicked, like a greedy wolf,
the just man doth beset,
By all means seeking him to kill,
and take him in his net.
The Fourth Part
33 But though he fall into his hands,
God will him succor send;
Though men against him sentence give,
yet God will him defend.
34 Wait thou on God, and keep his way,
he shall preserve thee then
The earth to rule, and thou shalt see
destroyed these wicked men.
35 The wicked have I seen most strong,
and placed in high degree;
Spreading himself, and flourishing
as doth the laurel-tree.
36 But suddenly he passed away,
and lo, he quite was gone;
Then I him sought, but could not find
the place where dwelt such one.
37 Mark and behold the upright man,
how God doth him increase;
For the just man shall have at length
great joy with rest and peace.
38 As for transgressors, woe to them!
Destroyed they all shall be;
God will cut off their budding race
and rich posterity.
39 But the salvation of the just
doth come from God above,
Who in their trouble sends them aid
of his mere grace and love.
40 God evermore delivers them
from vile men and unjust;
And still will save them, whilst that they
in him do put their trust.
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