Beckett: Poetry – No. 1873, Rise for My Justification

This exegetical poem is based on Psalm 35:11-28.


False witnesses rise up
     and accuse me of disrepute.
Evil is their lineup;
     my soul is destitute.

Yet still I prayed for them;
     I grieved for their suffering
like a father for his son
     and as a mother in need of comforting.

Yet they rejoice in my faltering
     as opportunity to trouble me,
their derision constantly hollering
     with rabid, vile teeth.

How long will You watch this, O Lord?
     Rescue my life from their destruction!
I will thank You when I’m restored;
     I will praise You in Your congregation!

Let not my foes rejoice
     or taunt me without cause,
for evil is their voice
     and they scheme without pause.

They cheer with malicious joy
     when they see my weakness.
Yet You have seen their evil ploys;
     be not silent in my bleakness!

O Lord, my God, be not far!
     Rise, I pray, for my justification!
Justify me as my Morning Star
     according to Your salvation!

Let their malicious joy cease
     and face their imminent shame.
Bring an end to their malevolent “peace,”
     who exaggerate their own name.

Then my fellow saints shall rejoice,
     singing, “Our God is great,” forevermore.
For You delight in Your gracious choice,
     which the wicked shall trouble nevermore.

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