The Ninetieth Psalm

O Thou, the first, the greatest friend Of all the human race! Whose strong right hand has ever been Their stay and dwelling place! Before the mountains heav'd their heads Beneath Thy forming hand, Before this ponderous globe itself Arose at Thy command; That Pow'r which rais'd and still upholds This universal frame, From countless, unbeginning time Was ever still the same. Those mighty periods of years Which seem to us so vast, Appear no more before Thy sight Than yesterday that's past. Thou giv'st the word: Thy creature, man, Is to existence brought; Again Thou say'st, "Ye sons of men, Return ye into nought!" Thou layest them, with all their cares, In everlasting sleep; As with a flood Thou tak'st them off With overwhelming sweep. They flourish like the morning flow'r, In beauty's pride array'd; But long ere night cut down it lies All wither'd and decay'd.


Crawford Logan

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1782 and is read here by Crawford Logan.

Themes for this poem


Selected for 08 April

Burns’s take on the ninetieth psalm; a text with more of the atmosphere of Lent, perhaps - man as ‘nought’ - but evidence both of the poet’s piety and his metrical skill.

Donny O'Rourke

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