De Profundis

David Park Barnitz

Out of the grave, O God, I call to thee,
     Be thou not deaf unto my dolorous cry;
     My soul is fallen down into the sty,
And the dead things are crawling over me;
thou my God, give me the worm to flee,
     Out from the pit's depths I would rise on high.

Again am I fallen down into the grave,
     My soul is sunken in the place of slime,
     I am too weak its loathed walls to climb,
Thou, only thou, O God, art strong to save;
Lo, in mine eyes the worms have made their cave,
     And squatting toads oppress me all the time.

Yea, from this pit I have crawl'd out before;
     With groans and cries and many a dolorous fall,
     I have climbed up its impregnable wall;
1 shall not rise now from its slimy floor;
O God, hear thou my lamentable call,
     Or from the grave I come not evermore.

I am become a housing for the toad;
     All things are fled wherein I took delight;
     There is no joy here, and there is no light;
God, O God, I have reap'd what I sow'd;
1 am become a dead thing in the night,
     And in my heart the worms have their abode.

Lo, from my body all my might is fled,
     And all the light is gone out of mine eyes;
     Mine ears hear only lamentable cries,
And eyeless things stand round about my head;
I am made as a man that slowly dies;
     I am made as a man already dead.

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