Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sonnet: Psalm 5

Psalm 5

O my Lord, hear the words of my pond’ring.
To thee, my Heav’nly King, I ever pray
For thy heart is not in evil wand’ring
Nor shall thy holiness let evil stay.

For the lab’rers of delusion and vice
Cannot withstand the power of thy gaze,
For their faithlessness earns no paradise
Only just death for their rebellious ways.

But I, O Lord, that way of life reject,
And in thy hallowed temple seek thee out.
Guide me, Lord:  Thy path I’ll never reject
As thou leadest me away from all doubt.

Peace and joy shall thy guidance ever bring
Thanks to thee, Savior, Defender, and King.

I chose for my sonnet, Psalm 5.  I was struck by the beauty and message of the original psalm, which is this:

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.
 2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
 3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
 4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
 5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
 7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
 8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
 9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
 10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
 11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
 12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

I found with adapting it to the sonnet format that I had to pay a lot of attention to the connections within the scripture--which verses connected with each other most.  I had to try to connect these ideas and then condense them in order to try to cover all of the aspects of the scripture while trying to retain some of the beauty of it.  Having finished my own attempt at adaptive sonnet-writing, I can definitely say that Milton was clearly a genius to have done this sort of thing as successfully and beautifully as he did.

1 comment:

  1. I adore your final couplet, it sums up the feeling of the text quite well!