Beckett: Poetry – No. 1853, But I Trust in You

This exegetical poem is based on Psalm 31:9-18.


Lend me grace in my distress;
     my eyes are flooded with grief, —
it is my soul’s abscess.
     Grant me, Lord, my relief.

For sorrow squanders my life;
     time counts my years spent aching.
My sins cause my strength strife,
     my bones slowly breaking.

My enemies bring me to failure;
     I am the object of their disdain.
They regard me with hate major;
     my honour they only feign.

I hear all their rumours
     and see their sideways glancing,
scheming with ill humour,
     their plot quickly advancing.

But I trust in You, O God my Lord;
     I confess, “You are my Defender.”
My days are guarded by Your angelic horde.
     Rescue me from the Great Offender!

May You shine upon me Your favour;
     I desire the mercy of Your face!
Let the wicked face their failure;
     let them suffer the wrath of Your mace.

Let their lying lips be made silent,
     who bring slander against Your saints.
Grant them their quest for Your contempt;
     release Your judgement from constraint.

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