For the leader; for Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
1 I vowed to watch my words,
and sin not with my tongue,
but to put on my mouth a muzzle,
while the wicked were in my presence.
2 I was silent and dumb,
but my pain was stirred up.
3 My heart grew hot within me;
as I mused, the fire was kindled,
till at last the words came to my tongue.
4 ‘Teach me, O Lord, my end,
and the sum of my days what it is.
Let me know how transient I am.
5 See! My days you have made but a span,
and my life is as nothing before you.
It is but as a breath that everyone stands:
6 it is but in mere semblance we walk to and fro,
and all our noise is for nothing.
We heap up, and know not who will gather.’
7 And now, what wait I for, Lord?
My hope is in you.
8 From all my transgressions deliver me;
make me not the scorn of the fool.
9 I am dumb, never opening my mouth,
for this is your own doing.
10 Remove your stroke from off me:
by the might of your hand I am spent.
11 When you rebuke someone to punish their sins,
you consume, like a moth, what they treasures.
Everyone is only a breath.
12 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
attend to my cry for help.
Hold not your peace at my tears.
For I am but a guest of yours,
a stranger visiting, like all my ancestors.
13 Look away from me, let me smile again,
before I die and am gone.