Beckett: Poetry – No. 1800, No One is Good

An exegetical poem on Psalm 14.


Only the fool says there is no God,
     for all life is evidence of a Creator;
therefore, such a saying is odd
     since life is Design’s demonstrator.

There is no person who does good;
     no, not a single one;
for we all sin since childhood
     in all things done and undone.

A person who is a little sick is still sick;
     they are by no means healthy.
Thus, every good deed a bad deed kicks;
     indeed, the bad we do is wealthy.

Thus, when God looks down from His throne,
     He sees only disobedience and malady;
for there are none who seek God alone,
     preferring rather spiritual adultery.

Hence they walk around blindly
     with animalistic consumption
of immorality as stupid and blithely
     through an inner, dark compulsion.

Before God they’ll stand in terror
     since He sides with His saints.
You wicked, the poor you feign to better,
     but God their refuge He acquaints.

For salvation is coming to His people, —
     when He shall restore our poor estate, —
and we shall rejoice in His heavenly temple
     with joy eternally great.

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