I. Why do the heathen nations rise
With unavailing rage?
Why thus to dare th’avenging skies,
In impious plots engage?
II. Proud monarchs meet, and breathing war,
Raise their vain threatnings high
Against the Lord, and boldly dare
His chosen king defy.
III. “Shall we submit to his commands,
And bend the suppliant knee?
No, let us break the servile bands,
We are, and will be free.”
IV. Heav’n’s awful sov’reign, thron’d on high,
Surveys their airy dreams,
He smiles contempt; in ruin lie
Their vainly labour’d schemes.
V. His dreadful anger now awakes;
Their hearts what terrors wound!
Almighty pow’r affronted speaks,
And wrath attends the sound!
VI. “My chosen king exalted see,
On Zion’s sacred hill!
Attend the solemn fix’d decree,
And learn Jehovah’s will!”
VII. “Thou art my son, thee I proclaim
Earth’s universal Lord;
Of pow’rs and potentates supreme,
Thy name shall be ador’d.”
VIII. “Ask, and I give to thee alone,
The heathens wide domain;
And earth’s remotest end shall own
Thy uncontested reign.”
IX. “Who will not to thy scepter bow,
Shall feel thy iron rod;
And crush’d in helpless ruin, show
The vengeance of a God.’
X. Be wise, ye monarchs, learn to fear
The pow’r, of pow’rs supreme;
With awful, trembling joy revere
The Lord’s exalted name.
XI. While mercy, with inviting rays,
Shines radiant in his eyes,
Approach; for should his anger blaze,
Th’unpardon’d rebel dies.
XII. When fury kindling in his eye,
Each guilty breast alarms;
Happy the souls who gladly fly
For refuge to his arms.