Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GOD IS NIGH TO CONTRITE HEARTS, by DAVID LEVY

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First Line: Lord of the world, we seek thy face
Last Line: Shall be its true and blest reward.
Subject(s): God; Jews; Prayer; Judaism

LORD of the world, we seek Thy face,
With contrite hearts implore Thy grace,
Not on our merits we depend,
To us Thy favor Thou wilt send;
But trusting in Thy mercy great,
That Thou wilt hear us supplicate.

For what are we, our life or deed?
Some broken staff; some bruised reed,
What are the virtues that we boast?
Of small account and vain at most.
What is our strength and what our power
That fails us in each tempting hour?

What can we urge our cause to plead,
Our fathers' God, to intercede?
For what to Thee are men of power
Who fade at last like grass or flower?
What are the wise, the most august?
Thou art to them as star to dust.

The greatest of our works are vain,
For life is fraught with sin and pain.
And how alike are beast and man,
Whose longest years are but a span,
Save in that pure, immortal soul
Which yearns for its celestial goal.

There at Thy throne in future time,—
Though most momentous and sublime,—
The soul shall render its report
At Mercy's just and last high court;
And there the favor of the Lord
Shall be its true and blest reward.

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