86. O Lord, our Fathers oft have told

1 O Lord, our Fathers oft have told,
in our attentive Ears,
Thy Wonders in their Days perform'd,
and elder Times than theirs:
2 How Thou, to plant them here, didst drive
the Heathen from the Land,
Dispeopled by repeated Strokes
of thy avenging Hand.

3 For not their Courage, nor their Sword,
to them Possession gave;
Nor Strength, that, from unequal Force,
their fainting Troops could save;
But thy Right-hand, thy po'rful Arm,
whose succour they implor'd;
Thy Presence with the chosen Race,
who thy great Name ador'd.

4 As Thee their God our Fathers own'd;
Thou art our Sov'reign King;
O! therefore, as thou didst to them,
to us Deliv'rance bring!
5 Thro' thy victorious Name, our Arms
the proudest Foe shall quell;
And crush them with repeated Strokes,
as oft as they rebel.

6 I'll neither trust my Bow nor Sword,
when I in Fight engage;
7 But Thee, who hast our Foes subdu'd,
and sham'd their spiteful Rage.
8 To Thee the Triumph we ascribe,
from whom the Conquest came:
In God we will rejoice all Day,
and ever bless His Name.

Part II

9 But Thou hast cast us off; and now
most shamefully we yield;
for Thou no more vouchsaf'st to lead
Our Armies to the Field.
10 Since when, to ev'ry upstart Foe
we turn our Backs in Fight;
And with our Spoil their Malice feast,
who bear us antient Spite.

11 To Slaughter doom'd, we fall, like Sheep,
into their butch'ring Hands;
Or (what's more wretched yet) survive,
dispers'd thro' Heathen Lands.
12 Thy People Thou hast sold for Slaves;
and set their Price so low,
That not thy Treasure, by the Sale,
but their Disgrace, may grow;

13,14 Reproach'd by all the Nations round,
the Heathens Bye-word grown;
Whose Scorn of us is both in speech,
and mocking Gestures, shown.
15 Confusion strikes me blind; my Face
in conscious Shame I hide;
16 While we are scoff'd, and God blasphem'd,
by their licentious Pride.

Part III

17 On us this Heap of Woes is fall'n;
all this we have endur'd;
Yet have not, Lord, renounc'd thy Name,
or Faith to Thee abjur'd:
18 But in thy righteous Paths have kept
our Hearts and Steps with Care;
19 Tho' Thou hast broken all our Strength,
and we almost despair.

20 Could we, forgetting thy great Name,
on other Gods rely,
21 And not the Searcher of all Hearts
the treach'rous Crime descry?
22 Thou seest what Suff'rings for thy sake
we ev'ry Day sustain.
All slaughter'd,or reserv'd like Sheep
appointed to be slain.

23 Awake, arise; let seeming sleep
no longer Thee detain;
Nor let us, Lord, who sue to Thee,
forever sue in vain.
24 O! wherefore hidest thou thy Face
from our afflicted State,
25 Whose Souls and Bodies sink to Earth
with Grief's oppressive Weight?

26 Arise, O Lord, and timely Haste
to our Deliv'rance make:
Redeem us, Lord, if not for ours,
yet for they Mercies sake.

Text Information
First Line: O Lord, our Fathers oft have told
Language: English
Publication Date: 1754
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