Psalm 49

From Scottish Metrical Psalms 1650

Meter: 8,6,8,6

1    Hear this, all people, and give ear,
       all in the world that dwell;
2    Both low and high, both rich and poor.
3      My mouth shall wisdom tell:
     My heart shall knowledge meditate.
4      I will incline mine ear
     To parables, and on the harp
       my sayings dark declare.

5    Amidst those days that evil be,
       why should I, fearing, doubt?
     When of my heels th' iniquity
       shall compass me about.
6    Whoe'er they be that in their wealth
       their confidence do pitch,
     And boast themselves, because they are
       become exceeding rich:

7    Yet none of these his brother can
       redeem by any way;
     Nor can he unto God for him
       sufficient ransom pay,
8    (Their soul's redemption precious is,
       and it can never be,)
9    That still he should for ever live,
       and not corruption see.

10   For why? he seeth that wise men die,
       and brutish fools also
     Do perish; and their wealth, when dead,
       to others they let go.
11   Their inward thought is, that their house
       and dwelling-places shall
     Stand through all ages; they their lands
       by their own names do call.

12   But yet in honour shall not man
       abide continually;
     But passing hence, may be compar'd
       unto the beasts that die.
13   Thus brutish folly plainly is
       their wisdom and their way;
     Yet their posterity approve
       what they do fondly say.

14   Like sheep they in the grave are laid,
       and death shall them devour;
     And in the morning upright men
       shall over them have pow'r:
     Their beauty from their dwelling shall
       consume within the grave.
15   But from hell's hand God will me free,
       for he shall me receive.

16   Be thou not then afraid when one
       enriched thou dost see,
     Nor when the glory of his house
       advanced is on high:
17   For he shall carry nothing hence
       when death his days doth end;
     Nor shall his glory after him
       into the grave descend.

18   Although he his own soul did bless
       whilst he on earth did live;
     (And when thou to thyself dost well,
       men will thee praises give;)
19   He to his fathers' race shall go,
       they never shall see light.
20   Man honour'd wanting knowledge is
       like beasts that perish quite.

Recordings of Psalm 49

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