39

I kept my mouth from every sinful word

I kept my mouth from every sinful word,
lest evil thoughts the wicked overheard;
but silence made my pain intensify,
so with a burning heart I made my cry:

2. ‘Show me my end, the measure of my days,
how fleeting are my years beneath your gaze;
life’s little span, so short from birth to death,
within your hand is nothing but a breath.

3. ‘The merest shadow, moving to and fro,
busy in vain, how soon we come and go,
we heap up wealth, our future all unknown,
then strangers come and reap where we have sown.

4. ‘What do I wait for? Lord, I hope in you,
all my transgressions cover from your view;
do not let fools rejoice when I’m cast down;
my mouth was silenced, humbled by your frown.

5. ‘Remove the scourge my soul cannot withstand,
my life is crushed beneath your chastening hand,
for you rebuke us when we go astray;
our wealth consumed, like breath we pass away.

6. ‘Lord, hear my cry; do not neglect my tears,
I feel an exile, with a stranger’s fears;
avert your eye, and make my torment cease,
restore my joy and let me die in peace.’

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