O Lord our God, in every age

O Lord our God, in every age
our home upon the earth!
Before you built the mountain range
or brought this world to birth,
from countless eras seen by none
to futures vast, unknown,
you are the everlasting One
on your eternal throne.

2. ‘Turn back, O man!’ At your decree
we all return to dust,
for, swifter than a day, you see
a thousand years race past;
you sweep us, everyone, away:
we vanish from the light,
as grass springs up and flowers by day,
yet droops and dies by night.

3. Your wrath consumes us: all our sins
are open to your eye,
the years slip by, our end begins,
we finish like a sigh;
though some may with their strength surmount
the threescore years and ten,
their span is but a brief account
of sorrow, toil and pain.

4. But who of us will pause to view
your wrath with solemn thought,
and meditate, in measure due,
your terror, as we ought?
So teach us, Lord, the heavenly art
of numbering our days,
that wisdom may incline the heart
to walk in all your ways.

5. Turn back, O Lord! In grace return
and crown us with your love:
as once your anger made us mourn,
now raise our hearts above;
so may your servants see your grace,
our children know its power,
your favour all our works embrace
both now and evermore.

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