O Lord of hosts, how lovely is your dwelling-place!

O Lord of hosts, how lovely is your dwelling-place!
I cry aloud, I long for your abode;
the joys of earth have left my soul unsatisfied:
my heart and flesh desire the living God.
Within your walls the sparrow finds a nesting place,
that near your altars she may have her young:
how happy those who dwell within your house, O Lord,
by whom your holy praises are for ever sung!

2. How happy those who have in you the strength they need,
and in whose heart are Zion’s pathways found!
The desert wastes they make a land of water-springs,
till autumn rains refresh the barren ground.
From strength to strength they journey on their pilgrimage,
until in God’s own presence they appear:
O Lord of hosts, do good to your anointed one;
receive my earnest prayer: O God of Jacob, hear!

3. How better, far, a single day within your courts,
than thousands spent in any other way;
I’d rather wait upon the steps beside your door,
than pitch my tent where wickedness holds sway.
For like a shield the Lord defends and covers us;
he gives us grace and crowns with glory too,
and nothing good withholds from those that walk aright:
O Lord of hosts, how happy all who trust in you!

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