Psalms in Metre
1 The heav'ns and firmament on high
do wondrously declare
God's glory and omnipotence,
his works and what they are.
2 The wondrous works of God appear
by every day's success,
The nights likewise which their race run
the selfsame thing express.
3 There is no language, tongue, or speech,
where their sound is not heard,
In all the earth and coasts thereof
their knowledge is conferred.

4 In them the Lord made royally
a setting for the sun
Where like a giant joyfully
he might his journey run.
5 And all the sky from end to end
he compassed round about
No man can hide him from his heat
but he will find him out.
6 How perfect is the law of God
his covenant is sure;
Converting souls, and making wise
the simple and obscure.
7 The Lord's commands are righteous, and
rejoice the heart likewise;
His precepts are most pure, and do
give light unto the eyes.
8 The fear of God is excellent,
and ever doth endure;
The judgments of the Lord also,
most righteous are and pure;
9 And more to be desirèd are
than much fine gold always;
The honey and the honey-comb
are not so sweet as they.
10 By them thy servant is forewarned
to have God in regard;
And in performance of the same
there shall be great reward.
11 But, Lord, what earthly man doth know
the errors of his life?
Then cleanse me from my secret sins,
which are in me most rife:
12 And keep me, that presumptuous sins
prevail not over me;
And so shall I be innocent,
and great offences flee.
13 Accept my mouth and heart also,
my words and thoughts each one;
For my Redeemer and my strength,
O Lord, thou art alone.
** Our copy of Sternhold and Hopkins is apparently the descendent of one of the Genevan editions of this psalter. The Genevan editions made numerous changes to Sternhold's poetry, in the hope that they would improve it. We located a fragment of the original Sternhold wording for this psalm and have used verses 4 and 5 from that fragment in the version of the psalm above. Further, the verse 5 in our Genevan descended copy was not included in Sternhold's original poetry, so we have omitted it from the above version and renumbered the subsequent verses. For comparison, here are the words of verses 4, 5 and 6 from our copy of Sternhold and Hopkins:
4 In them the Lord made for the sun
a place of great renown,
who like a bridegroom ready trimmed
comes from his chamber down:
5 And as a valiant champion,
who would to honour rise,
With joy doth haste to take in hand
some noble enterprise.
6 And all the sky from end to end
he compasseth about;
Nothing can hide if from his heat,
but he will find it out.

Sign Up for our Newsletter