A Metrical Isaiah 40

Why pour’st thou forth thine anxious plaint, despairing of relief,
As if the Lord o’erlook’d thy cause, and did not heed thy grief?
Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that firm remains on high
The everlasting throne of Him who form’d the earth and sky?

Art thou afraid his pow’r shall fail when comes thy evil day?
And can an all-creating arm grow weary or decay?
Supreme in wisdom as in pow’r the Rock of ages stands;
Though him thou canst not see, nor trace the working of his hands.

He gives the conquest to the weak, supports the fainting heart;
And courage in the evil hour his heav’nly aids impart.
Mere human pow’r shall fast decay, and youthful vigour cease;
But they that wait upon the Lord, in strength shall still increase.

They with unweary’d feet shall tread the path of life divine;
With growing ardour onward move, with growing brightness shine.
On eagles’ wings they mount, they soar, their wings are faith and love,
Till, past the cloudy regions here, they rise to heav’n above.


– Isaiah 40:27-31, in The Psalms of David in Metre (Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Co., 1866).  My sons John Calvin and Caleb bought me this well-preserved volume from their trip to Boston in July.  It proclaims itself on the title page as “More plain, smooth, and agreeable to the text than any heretofore.”  Maybe; there are some awkward renderings in here, but there are some very good ones too.  I liked this one from the back of the book.

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