John Milton

(9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674 / London, England)

Psalm 88


Lord God that dost me save and keep,
All day to thee I cry;
And all night long, before thee weep
Before thee prostrate lie.
Into thy presence let my praier
With sighs devout ascend
And to my cries, that ceaseless are,
Thine ear with favour bend.
For cloy'd with woes and trouble store
Surcharg'd my Soul doth lie,
My life at death's uncherful dore
Unto the grave draws nigh.
Reck'n'd I am with them that pass
Down to the dismal pit
I am a *man, but weak alas * Heb. A man without manly
And for that name unfit. strength.
From life discharg'd and parted quite
Among the dead to sleep
And like the slain in bloody fight
That in the grave lie deep.
Whom thou rememberest no more,
Dost never more regard,
Them from thy hand deliver'd o're
Deaths hideous house hath barr'd.
Thou in the lowest pit profound'
Hast set me all forlorn,
Where thickest darkness hovers round,
In horrid deeps to mourn.
Thy wrath from which no shelter saves
Full sore doth press on me;
*Thou break'st upon me all thy waves, *The Heb.
*And all thy waves break me bears both.
Thou dost my friends from me estrange,
And mak'st me odious,
Me to them odious, for they change,
And I here pent up thus.
Through sorrow, and affliction great
Mine eye grows dim and dead,
Lord all the day I thee entreat,
My hands to thee I spread.
Wilt thou do wonders on the dead,
Shall the deceas'd arise
And praise thee from their loathsom bed
With pale and hollow eyes ?
Shall they thy loving kindness tell
On whom the grave hath hold,
Or they who in perdition dwell
Thy faithfulness unfold?
In darkness can thy mighty hand
Or wondrous acts be known,
Thy justice in the gloomy land
Of dark oblivion?
But I to thee O Lord do cry
E're yet my life be spent,
And up to thee my praier doth hie
Each morn, and thee prevent.
Why wilt thou Lord my soul forsake,
And hide thy face from me,
That am already bruis'd, and *shake *Heb. Prae Concussione.
With terror sent from thee;
Bruz'd, and afflicted and so low
As ready to expire,
While I thy terrors undergo
Astonish'd with thine ire.
Thy fierce wrath over me doth flow
Thy threatnings cut me through.
All day they round about me go,
Like waves they me persue.
Lover and friend thou hast remov'd
And sever'd from me far.
They fly me now whom I have lov'd,
And as in darkness are.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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