OUR God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come,
Our Shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal Home :
2 Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.
3 Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.
4 A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
5 The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by Thy flood,
And lost in following years.
6Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away:
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
7 Our God, our Help in ages past;
Our Hope for years to come;
Be Thou our Guard while troubles last,
And our eternal Home.
This is a part of one of the free versions or "Imitations" of the Psalms (see under No. 2), which Dr. Watts published in 1719. It is one of the very best of all the hymns he wrote. To understand the hymn, it is only necessary to read the earliest verses of the 90th psalm.