A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. (Psalms 102:1-2 KJV)
Words by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), The Psalms of David, 1719.
Music: St. Matthew, William Croft (1678-1727), 1708
Alternate tune: Kingsfold, Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906
Hear Me O God, Nor Hide Thy Face
Hear me, O God, nor hide Thy face;
But answer, lest I die;
Hast Thou not built a throne of grace
To hear when sinners cry?
My days are wasted like the smoke
Dissolving in the air;
My strength is dried, my heart is broke,
And sinking in despair.
My spirits flag like withering grass
Burnt with excessive heat;
In secret groans my minutes pass,
And I forget to eat.
As on some lonely building’s top
The sparrow tells her moan,
Far from the tents of joy and hope
I sit and grieve alone.
My soul is like a wilderness
Where beasts of midnight howl;
There the sad raven finds her place
And there the screaming owl.
Dark, dismal thoughts, and boding fears,
Dwell in my troubled breast;
While sharp reproaches wound my ears,
Nor give my spirit rest.
My cup is mingled with my woes,
And tears are my repast;
My daily bread, like ashes, grows
Unpleasant to my taste.
Sense can afford no real joy
To souls that feel Thy frown;
Lord, ’twas Thy hand advanced me high
Thy hand hath cast me down.
My looks like withered leaves appear;
And life’s declining light
Grows faint as evening shadows are
That vanish into night.
But Thou for ever art the same,
O my eternal God;
Ages to come shall know Thy name,
And spread Thy works abroad.
Thou wilt arise and show Thy face,
Nor will my Lord delay
Beyond th’appointed hour of grace,
That long-expected day.
He hears His saints, He knows their cry,
And by mysterious ways
Redeems the prisoners doomed to die,
And fills their tongues with praise.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8 KJV)
Isaac Watts (1674-1748) – See He That Hath Made His Refuge God
William Croft (1678-1727)
As a boy, Croft was a chorister at the Chapel Royal. From 1700-1712, he was organist at St. Anne, Soho, London. From 1704 on, he was, jointly with Jeremiah Clarke, organist of the Chapel Royal. In 1708 he became Master of the Children at Chapel Royal and organist at Westminster Abbey. In 1713 he received a Doctor of Music degree from Oxford University. In 1726, the Academy of Vocal Music (later the Academy of Ancient Music) was founded by 13 musicians, including Croft, Pepusch, Bononcini, and Geminiani.
Croft was composer to Queen Anne and was recognized as the foremost church musician of his time. Croft also wrote instrumental works (e.g., cembalo and sonatas for flute (recorder).
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