Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PENITENTIAL PSALM: 6. DOMINE NE IN FURORE, by THOMAS WYATT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PENITENTIAL PSALM: 6. DOMINE NE IN FURORE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: O lord, since in my mouth thy mighty name
Last Line: With strained voice again thus crieth he.
Alternate Author Name(s): Wyat, Thomas

O Lord, since in my mouth Thy mighty name
Suffereth itself, my Lord, to name and call,
Here hath my heart hope taken by the same;
That the repentance which I have and shall
May at Thy hand seek mercy as the thing,
Only comfort of wretched sinners all;
Whereby I dare with humble bemoaning
By Thy goodness of Thee this thing require:
Chastise me not for my deserving,
According to Thy just conceived ire.
O Lord, I dread; and that I did not dread
I me repent, and evermore desire
Thee, Thee to dread. I open here and spread
My fault to Thee; but Thou, for Thy goodness,
Measure it not in largeness nor in bred.
Punish it not, as asketh the greatness
Of Thy furor, provoked by my offense.
Temper, O Lord, the harm of my excess
With mending will, that I for recompense
Prepare again; and rather pity me,
For I am weak and clean without defense.
More is the need I have of remedy,
For of the whole the leech taketh no cure.
The sheep that strayeth the shepherd seeks to see:
I, Lord, am strayed; I seek without recure,
Feel all my limbs, that have rebelled for fear,
Shake in despair unless Thou me assure.
My flesh is troubled, my heart doth fear the spear;
That dread of death, of death that ever lasts,
Threateth of right and draweth near and near.
Much more my soul is troubled by the blasts
Of these assaults that come as thick as hail
Of worldly vanity, that temptation casts
Against the weak bulwark of the flesh frail,
Wherein the soul in great perplexity
Feeleth the senses, with them that assail,
Conspire, corrupt by use and vanity;
Whereby the wretch doth to the shade resort
Of hope in Thee, in this extremity.
But Thou, O Lord, how long after this sort
Forbearest Thou to see my misery?
Suffer me yet, in hope of some comfort,
Fear and not feel that Thou forgettest me.
Return, O Lord, O Lord, I Thee beseech,
Unto Thy old wonted benignity.
Reduce, revive my soul; be Thou the leech,
And reconcile the great hatred and strife
That it hath ta'en against the flesh, the wretch
That stirred hath Thy wrath by filthy life.
See how my soul doth fret it to the bones,
Inward remorse so sharpeth it like a knife;
That but Thou help the caitiff, that bemoans
His great offense, it turns anon to dust.
Here hath Thy mercy matter for the nones;
For if Thy rightwise hand that is so just
Suffer no sin or strike with damnation,
Thy infinite mercy want needs it must
Subject matter for his operation:
For that in death there is no memory
Among the damned, nor yet no mention
Of Thy great name, ground of all glory.
Then if I die and go where as I fear
To think thereon, how shall Thy great mercy
Sound in my mouth unto the world's ear?
For there is none that can Thee laud and love,
For that Thou nilt no love among them there.
Suffer my cries Thy mercy for to move,
That wonted is a hundred years offense
In moment of repentance to remove.
How oft have I called up with diligence
This slothful flesh long afore the day
For to confess his fault and negligence;
That to Thee done for aught that I could say
Hath still returned to shroud itself from cold;
Whereby it suffers now for such delay.
By nightly plaints instead of pleasures old
I wash my bed with tears continual,
To dull my sight that it be never bold
To stir my heart again to such a fall.
Thus dry I up among my foes in woe,
That with my fall do rise and grow with all,
And me beset even now, where I am so,
With secret traps to trouble my penance.
Some do present to my weeping eyes, lo,
The cheer, the manners, beauty, and countenance
Of her whose look, alas, did make me blind.
Some other offer to my remembrance
Those pleasant words now bitter to my mind;
And some show me the power of my armor,
Triumph, and conquest, and to my head assigned
Double diadem. Some show the favor
Of people frail, palace, pomp, and riches.
To these mermaids and their baits of error,
I stop mine ears with help of Thy goodness;
And for I feel it cometh alone of Thee
That to my heart these foes have none access,
I dare them bid: Avoid wretches and flee!
The Lord hath heard the voice of my complaint;
Your engines take no more effect in me.
The Lord hath heard, I say, and seen me faint
Under your hand and pitieth my distress.
He shall do make my senses by constraint
Obey the rule that reason shall express,
Where the deceit of your glossing bait
Made them usurp a power in all excess.
Shamed be they all that so lie in wait
To compass me, by missing of their prey!
Shame and rebuke redound to such deceit!
Sudden confusion's stroke without delay
Shall so deface their crafty suggestion
That they to hurt my health no more assay,
Since I, O Lord, remain in Thy protection.

Who so hath seen the sick in his fever,
After truce taken with the heat or cold
And that the fit is past of his favor,
Draw fainting sighs, let him, I say, behold
Sorrowful David after his languor,
That with the tears that from his eyes down rolled,
Paused his plaint and laid adown his harp,
Faithful record of all his sorrows sharp.

It seemed now that of his fault the horror
Did make afeard no more his hope of grace,
The threats whereof in horrible error
Did hold his heart as in despair a space,
Till he had willed to seek for his succor,
Himself accusing, beknowing his case,
Thinking so best his Lord for to appease,
Eased, not yet healed, he feeleth his disease.

Seemeth horrible no more the dark cave
That erst did make his fault for to tremble,
A place devout or refuge for to save;
The succorless it rather doth resemble:
For who had seen so kneel within the grave
The chief pastor of th' Hebrews assemble,
Would judge it made by tears of penitence
A sacred place worthy of reverence.

With vapored eyes he looketh here and there,
And when he hath a while himself bethought,
Gathering his sprites that were dismayed for fear;
His harp again into his hand he wrought,
Tuning accord by judgment of his ear:
His heart's bottom for a sigh he sought,
And there withal upon the hollow tree
With strained voice again thus crieth he.

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