O God, why have you cast us off for ever

O God, why have you cast us off for ever,
in anger at the sheep within your fold?
Remember us, the people that you ransomed,
and Zion’s mountain, where you dwelt of old.
Walk through and see the utter devastation
your foes have brought upon your holy place;
where once you met with us they raise their banners,
and of its beauty they have left no trace.

2. Our holy places are reduced to ashes;
no token of your favour can we see;
no prophet brings us any word from heaven,
and no one knows how long these things shall be.
How long, O God, will you endure their taunting?
Shall they blaspheme your name for evermore?
Why now withhold your hand, why keep it hidden?
Will you not save your people as before?

3. But you are God, my king from distant ages,
victorious over every earthly power-
you tamed the sea, you slew its angry serpent
for creatures of the desert to devour;
you opened streams, you halted flowing rivers;
you made the sun and moon and stars appear;
and you it was who set our planet’s boundaries,
and you designed the seasons of the year.

4. O Lord, remember how the foe has mocked you,
how foolish people have reviled your name;
respect your covenant: save us from their violence;
do not abandon us to loss and shame.
But may we in our poverty yet praise you,
despite their jeers that echo day and night;
amid the din and clamour of the wicked
rise up, O God, maintain your sovereign right.

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