Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past

This great old hymn of Isaac Watts is one of Dad's (David's) favorites. It is based on Psalm 90, the psalm "of Moses, the Man of God". This was one of Great-Grandpa (Harold F.) Tuggy's favorite passages of Scripture, and was often read in Dad's family at Thanksgiving and New Years. The traditional tune "St. Anne" is ascribed to William Croft, a contemporary of Watts' (late 1600's to early 1700's.)

Oh God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
    And our eternal home!

Under the shadow of Thy throne
    Still may we dwell secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
    And our defense is sure!

Before the hills in order stood,
    Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
    To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
    Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
    Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-flowing stream
    Soon sweeps her sons away.
We fly, forgotten, as a dream
    Dies at the opening day.

Oh, God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guide while life shall last,
    And our eternal home!

 

These words, which are already more than are printed in most hymnals, stop only half-way through the psalm. Dad (David) wrote some additional verses which he likes to sing sometimes too, to finish out the psalm.

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