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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Songs of the Puritans

By The Bay Psalm Book

[The First Book Printed in America. Supervised by Richard Mather, Thomas Welde and John Eliot. The Preface was written by Mather. Printed by Stephen Daye, at Cambridge, Mass., 1640.]

From the Preface

IF therefore the verses are not alwayes so smooth and elegant as some may desire or expect; let them consider that Gods Altar needs not our pollishings: Ex. 20. for wee have respected rather a plaine translation, then to smooth our verses with the sweetnes of any paraphrase, and soe have attended Conscience rather then Elegance, fidelity rather then poetry, in translating the hebrew words into english language, and Davids poetry into english meetre; that soe we may sing in Sion the Lords songs of prayse according to his owne will; untill hee take us from hence, and wipe away all our teares, & bid us enter into our masters ioye to sing eternall Halleluiahs.


To the chiefe Musician, a psalme of Dauid, the servant of the Lord, who spake the words of this Song, in the day that the Lord deliuered him from the hands of all his enemies, & from the hand of Saule, and hee Sayde,
IL’e dearely love thee, Lord, my strength:

The Lord is my rock, and my towre,

and my deliverer, my God,

I’le trust in him who is my powre,

My shield, & my salvationes-horne,

3my high-fort; Who is prayse worthy,

I on the Lord will call, so shall

I bee kept from mine enemye.

4Deaths sorrowes mee encompassed,

mee fear’d the floods of ungodlie,

5Hells pangs beset me round about,

the snares of death prevented mee.

6I in my streights, cal’d on the Lord,

and to my God cry’d: he did heare

from his temple my voyce, my crye,

before him came, unto his eare.

7Then th’ earth shooke, & quak’t, & motaines

roots mov’d, & were stird at his ire,

8Vp from his nostrils went a smoak,

and from his mouth devouring fire:

By it the coales inkindled were.

9Likewise the heavens he downe-bow’d,

and he descended, & there was

under his feet a gloomy cloud.

10And he on cherub rode, and flew;

yea he flew on the wings of winde.

11His secret place hee darknes made

his covert that him round confinde,

Dark waters, & thick clouds of skies.

12From brightnes, that before him was,

his thickned clouds did passe away,

hayl-stones and coales of fire did passe.

13Also Iehovah thundered,

within the heavens, the most high

likewise his angry-voyce did give,

hayl-stones, and coales of fire did fly.

14Yea he did out his arrows send,

and bruising he them scattered,

and lightnings hee, did multiply,

likewise he them discomfited.

15The waters channels then were seene,

and the foundationes of the world

appear’d; at thy rebuke, at blast,

of the breath of thy nostrils Lord.


To the chlefe Musician a psalme of David.

THe heavens doe declare

the majesty of God:

also the firmament shews forth

his handy-work abroad.

2Day speaks to day, knowledge

night hath to night declar’d.

3There neither speach nor language is,

where their voyce is not heard.

4Through all the earth their line

is gone forth, & unto

the utmost end of all the world,

their speaches reach also:

A Tabernacle hee

in them pitcht for the Sun.

5Who Bridegroom like from’s chamber goes

glad Giants-race to run.

6From heavens utmost end,

his course and compassing;

to ends of it, & from the heat

thereof is hid nothing.


A psalme of david.

THe earth Iehovahs is,

and the fulnesse of it:

the habitable world, & they

that there upon doe sit.

2Because upon the seas,

hee hath it firmly layd:

and it upon the water-floods

most sollidly hath stayd.

3The mountaine of the Lord,

who shall thereto ascend?

and in his place of holynes,

who is it that shall stand?

4The cleane in hands, & pure

in heart; to vanity

who hath not lifted up his soule,

nor sworne deceitfully.

5From God he shall receive

a benediction,

and righteousnes from the strong-God

of his salvation.

6This is the progenie

of them that seek thy face:

of them that doe inquire for him:

of Iacob ’tis the race.Selah.

7Yee gates lift-up your heads,

and doors everlasting,

be yee lift up: & there into

shall come the glorious-King.

8Who is this glorious King?

Iehovah, puissant,

and valiant, Iehovah is

in battel valiant.

9Yee gates lift-up your heads,

and doors everlasting,

doe yee lift-up: & there into

shall come the glorious-King.

10Who is this glorious-King?

loe, it is Iehovah

of warlike armies, hee the King

of glory is; Selah.

PSALME XXIX.A psalme of David.

VNto the Lord doe yee ascribe

(o Sonnes of the mighty)

unto the Lord doe yee ascribe

glory & potency.

2Vnto the Lord doe yee ascribe

his names glorious renowne,

in beauty of his holynes

unto the Lord bow downe.

3The mighty voyce of Iehovah

upon the waters is:

the God of glory thundereth,

God on great waters is.

4Iehovahs voyce is powerfull,

Gods voyce is glorious,

5Gods voyce breaks Cedars: yea God breaks

Cedars of Lebanus.

6He makes them like a calfe to skip:

the mountaine Lebanon,

and like to a young Vnicorne

the hill of Syrion.

7Gods voyce divides the flames of fire.

8Iehovahs voyce doth make

the desart shake: the Lord doth cause

the Cadesh-desart shake.

9The Lords voyce makes the hindes to calve,

and makes the forrest bare:

and in his temple every one

his glory doth declare.

10The Lord sate on the flouds: the Lord

for ever sits as King.

11God to his folk gives strength: the Lord

his folk with peace blessing.

To the chief musician, for the sonnes of Korah, a song upon Alemoth.

GOD is our refuge, strength, & help

in troubles very neere.

2Therefore we will not be afrayd,

though th’ earth removed were.

Though mountaines move to midst of seas

3Though waters roaring make

and troubled be, at whose swellings

although the mountaines shake.Selah.

4There is a river streames whereof

shall rejoyce Gods city:

the holy place the tent wherin

abideth the most high.

5God is within the midst of her,

moved shee shall not bee:

God shall be unto her an help,

in the morning early.

6The nations made tumultuous noyse,

the kingdomes moved were:

he did give forth his thundering voyce

the earth did melt with feare.

7The God of Armies is with us

th’ eternall Iehovah:

the God of Iacob is for us

a refuge high.Selah.

8O come yee forth behold the works

which Iehovah hath wrought,

the fearfull desolations,

which on the earth he brought.

9Vnto the utmost ends of th’ earth

warres into peace hee turnes:

the speare he cuts, the bowe he breaks,

in fire the chariots burnes.

10Be still, & know that I am God,

exalted be will I

among the heathen: through the earth

I ’le be exalted hye.

11The God of armyes is with us,

th’ eternall Iehovah

the God of Iacob is for us

a refuge high.Selah.

A psalme of David, when he was in the wilderness of Iudah.

O GOD, thou art my God, early

I will for thee inquire:

my soule thirsteth for thee, my flesh

for thee hath strong desire,

In land whereas no water is

that thirsty is & dry.

2To see, as I saw in thine house

thy strength & thy glory.

3Because thy loving kindenes doth

abundantly excell

ev’n life it selfe: wherefore my lips

forth shall thy prayses tell.

4Thus will I blessing give to thee

whilst that alive am I:

and in thy name I will lift up

these hands of mine on high.

5My soule as with marrow & fat

shall satisfied bee:

my mouth also with joyfull lips

shall prayse give unto thee.

6When as that I remembrance have

of thee my bed upon,

and on thee in the night watches

have meditation.

7Because that thou hast been to me

he that to me help brings;

therefore will I sing joyfully

in shaddow of thy wings.

8My soule out of an ardent love

doth follow after thee:

also thy right hand it is that

which hath upholden mee.

9But as for those that seek my soule

to bring it to an end,

they shall into the lower parts

of the earth downe descend.

10By the hand of the sword also

they shall be made to fall:

and they be for a portion

unto the Foxes shall.

11But the King shall rejoyce in God,

all that by him doe sweare

shall glory, but stopped shall be

their mouths that lyars are.