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THE XXIIID PSALM.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, my guardian and guide,
2 For the wants of his creatures the Lord doth provide;
3 E'er since I was born it is he that hath crown'd
4 The life that he gave me with blessings around.
5 While yet on the breast a poor infant I hung,
6 Ere time had unloosen'd the strings of my tongue,
7 He gave me the help which I could not then ask,
8 And now, oh my tongue, let his praise be thy task!
9 Thro' my tenderest years, with as tender a care,
10 My soul like a lamb in his bosom he bare;
11 To the brook he would lead me whene'er I had need,
12 And point out the pasture where best I might feed;
13 No harm would approach me, for he was my shield
14 From the birds of the air and the beast of the field;
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15 The wolf to devour me would often times prowl,
16 But the Lord was my shepherd, and guarded my soul.
17 How oft in my youth have I wandered astray,
18 And still he hath set me again on the way;
19 When lost in dark error no path I could meet,
20 His word like a lanthorn hath guided my feet;
21 What wond'rous escapes to his kindness I owe,
22 When rash and unthinking I sought my own woe;
23 My soul had long since been gone down to the deep,
24 If the Lord had not watched when I was asleep.
25 Whene'er at a distance he sees me afraid,
26 O'er the hills and high mountains he comes to my aid,
27 Then leads me back gently, and bids me abide
28 In the midst of his flock, and feed close by his side;
29 How happy if there I could ever remain
30 All the days of my life, and not wander again;
31 Yea, blest are the people, and happy thrice told,
32 Who obey the Lord's voice and abide in his fold.
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33 The fold it is full, and the pasture is green,
34 All is friendship and love, and no enemy seen;
35 There the Lord dwells amongst us upon his own hill,
36 And the mountains all round with his presence doth fill,
37 Himself in the midst with a provident eye,
38 Regarding our wants and procuring supply;
39 He prepareth all things for our safety and food,
40 We gather his gifts, and are filled with good.
41 When he leads forth the flock we all gladly obey
42 For the Lord is himself both our leader and way,
43 The hills smoke with incense where e'er he hath trod,
44 And a sacred perfume shews the footsteps of God,
45 Whilst blest with his presence the valleys beneath
46 A sweet smelling savour do constantly breathe;
47 He reneweth the face of each living thing,
48 And the glad Earth enjoys a perpetual spring.
49 Or if a far different scene he prepare,
50 And we march thro' the wilderness barren and bare,
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51 By his wonderful work's we see plainly enough
52 That the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof;
53 When hungry and thirsty we're ready to faint,
54 He seeth our need and prevents our complaint;
55 The rain at his word brings us bread from the sky,
56 And rocks become rivers when nature is dry.
57 From the fruitfullest hill to the barrenest rock
58 The Lord hath made all for the sake of his flock,
59 And the flock in return the Lord always confess,
60 Their joy in abundance, their hope in distress;
61 He beholds in our welfare his glory display'd,
62 And we deem ourselves happy when he is obey'd;
63 With a cheerful regard we attend to his ways,
64 Our attention is prayer, and our cheerfulness praise.

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    Title (in Source Edition): THE XXIIID PSALM.
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    Poems, &c. &c. by the Late Mrs. Mary Alcock [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Dilly, Poultry, 1799, pp. 97-100. vii,[25],183,[1]p. (ESTC T86344) (Page images digitized by University of California Libraries.)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

    Other works by Mary Alcock (née Cumberland)