Our God, Our Help

By Isaac Watts 1674–1748 Isaac Watts
Our 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
   Thy saints have dwelt 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.

Thy word commands our flesh to dust,
   “Return, ye sons of men”;
All nations rose from earth at first,
   And turn to earth again.

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

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
   With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by thy flood,
   And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
   Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
   Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand,
   Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
   Lie withering e’er ’tis night.

Our God, our help in ages past,
   Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guard while troubles last,
   And our eternal home.

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Poet Isaac Watts 1674–1748

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

Subjects Religion, God & the Divine, Christianity

 Isaac  Watts

Biography

Isaac Watts was a scion of seventeenth-century Independent Dissent, a religious culture distinguished by its attention to local congregational authority, the education of preachers and people, and the cultivation of individual piety. The politics, pedagogy, and piety of Independency are all in evidence in Watts's early life and throughout his long career. He was at once a churchman, an educator, and an important minor poet. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, God & the Divine, Christianity

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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