Lord, save me from the evil man,
And from his pride and spite,
And from all those also who do
In violence delight:
Who evermore on me make war,
Their tongues, lo, they have whet
Like serpents; underneath their lips
Is adders' poison set.
Keep me, O Lord, from wicked hands,
Preserve me to abide
Free from the cruel man that means
To cause my steps to slide.
The proud have laid a snare for me,
And they have spread a net
With cords in my pathway, and gins
For me also have set.
Therefore I said unto the Lord,
Thou art my God alone,
Hear me therefore, O hear the voice
Wherewith I pray and moan.
O Lord my God, thou only art
The strength that saveth me;
My head in day of battle hath
Been cover'd still by thee.
Let not, O Lord, the wicked have
The end of his desire,
Perform not his ill thought, lest he
With pride be set on fire.
Of them that compass me about,
The chiefest of them all,
Lord, let the mischief of their lips
Upon their own heads fall;
Let coals fall on them, let them be
Cast in consuming flame,
And in deep pit, that never they
May rise out of the same.
For no backbiters shall on earth
Be set in stable plight;
And evil to destruction still
Shall hunt the cruel wight.
I know the Lord th'afflicted will
Revenge, and judge the poor:
The just shall praise thy name, and shall
Dwell with thee evermore.
Preserve me, Lord, from crafty foes
Of treacherous intent;
And from the sons of violence,
On open mischief bent.
Their sland'ring tongue the serpent's sting
In sharpness does exceed;
Between their lips the gall of asps
And adders' venom breed.
Preserve me, Lord, from wicked hands,
Nor leave my soul forlorn,
A prey to sons of violence,
Who have my ruin sworn.
The proud for me have laid their snare,
And spread their wily net;
With traps and gins, where'er I move,
I find my steps beset.
But thus environ'd with distress,
Thou art my God, I said;
Lord, hear my supplicating voice,
That calls to thee for aid.
O Lord, the God, whose saving strength
Kind succour did convey,
And cover'd my advent'rous head
In battle's doubtful day:
Permit not their unjust designs
To answer their desire;
Lest they, encourag'd by success,
To bolder crimes aspire.
Let first their chiefs the sad effects
Of their injustice mourn:
The blast of their envenom'd breath
Upon themselves return.
Let them who kindled first the flame
Its sacrifice become;
The pit they digg'd for me be made
Their own untimely tomb.
Though slander's breath may raise a storm,
It quickly will decay;
Their rage does but the torrent swell
That bears themselves away.
God will assert the poor man's cause,
And speedy succour give;
The just shall celebrate his praise,
And in his presence live.