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I Will Take Heed and Guard My Ways
- “I will take heed and guard my ways,” I said,
“that I might keep my tongue away from sin;
I with a muzzle watch and guard my mouth,
when in the presence of the wicked men.”
- Silent and mute I stayed to no avail;
I held my peace, and my distress increased.
Hot was my heart, the fire burned as I mused;
then, with my tongue I spoke my earnest plea:
- “LORD, make me know the end of all my days;
teach me the measure of my fleeting life.
You made my days a meager handbreath long;
my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
- “Surely mankind stands as a fleeting breath!
Surely a shadow, man walks to and fro!
Surely for naught he toils to gather wealth.
Who will inherit? He will never know.
- “And now, O Lord, what am I waiting for?
I put my hope and trust in you alone.
Save me from all my wickedness and sin.
O make me not the scorn of foolish men.
- “I am a mute; I open not my mouth,
Lord, for this work was done at your command.
But now remove your stroke away from me;
I waste away beneath your hostile hand.
- “When you rebuke and chasten those who sin,
you, like a moth, consume their gathered wealth.
Lord, your rebukes destroy all they hold dear;
O surely all mankind is but a breath.
- “LORD, hear my pray’r, my cry; hold not your peace!
Like all my fathers, I’m a stranger here.
Look not in wrath, that I may smile again,
ere I depart in death to be no more.”
© 2018 Trinity Psalter Hymnal Joint Venture