Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.@Psalm 127:1

From The Psal­ter (Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­van­ia: Unit­ed Pres­by­ter­i­an Board of Pub­li­ca­tion, 1912), num­ber 359.

Illa Lo­well Ma­son, 1841 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Lowell Mason (1792–1872)

Unless the Lord the house shall build,
The weary builders toil in vain;
Unless the Lord the city shield,
The guards a useless watch maintain.

In vain you rise ere morning break,
And late your nightly vigils keep,
And of the bread of toil partake;
God gives to His belovèd sleep.

Lo, children are a great reward,
A gift from God in very truth;
With arrows is his quiver stored
Who joys in children of his youth.

And blest the man whose age is cheered
By stalwart sons and daughters fair;
No enemies by him are feared,
No lack of love, no want of care.