Beckett: Poetry – No. 1801, Who is Worthy?

An exegetical poem on Psalm 15.


Who is worthy to stand in Your presence?
     Only he who is faultless, —
he whose deeds are always pleasant
     and never speaks a word heartless.

He who never ceases to do good to all
     nor seeks to harm his neighbour;
he who despises evil’s thrall
     and honours God in every labour.

He who does not bolster self-interest
     or scheme against the innocent;
he whose pride is not held dearest
     or encourages hostile dissonance.

Alas, none of us are worthy!
     Yet Christ stands in our place,
whose perfect deeds are trustworthy
     to stand before You because of grace.

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