The 13th poem in my Corona on the Psalms: A Song of Sudden Hope

who drank the bitter cup and in so doing made it flow with wine

Psalm 13 is one of the shortest in the whole psalter, and although it starts in distress there is a sudden welling of hope and renewal in the last two verses, as grief turns to grace and the heart is once more joyful, a pattern I have reflected in my poem. As with the other poems in this Corona sequence, I seek once more to draw out how the pattern of Christ’s death and resurrection is hidden in the pattern of the psalms.

As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the play button or the title and you can find the other poems in this evolving series by putting the word ‘psalms’ into the search box on the right. I hope you enjoy the poem.

XIII Usque quo, Domine?

Come down to free us, come as our true friend,

How long, how long? Oh do not hide your face

Or let me sleep in death, but light my end,


Till it becomes a bright beginning. Place

Your wounded hands in mine and raise me up

That even grief itself may turn to grace.


Then I will sing a song of sudden hope,

Then I will praise my saviour, the divine

Companion who drank the bitter cup


And in so doing made it flow with wine,

That his strong love might overrun my heart

And all his joy in heaven might be mine.


Then I will sing his song, and take my part

In Love’s true music, as his kingdom comes

And heaven’s hidden gates are drawn apart.


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Filed under imagination, Poems

7 responses to “The 13th poem in my Corona on the Psalms: A Song of Sudden Hope

  1. Thank you Malcolm for writing and sharing these poems. I find I enjoy them most when I let a few collect and can read them in sequence. What a blessing they have been as I read the Psalm first and then your poem. “Place Your wounded hands in mine and raise me up That even grief itself may turn to grace” were the lines from today’s poem which struck me most. I look forward to the day when I can purchase these in print. No matter how hard I try to embrace virtual books, I still prefer the feel of pages turning between my fingers and the freedom to write annotations in the margin. Blessings to you.

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’m already in discussions with my publisher about turning these into a book

  2. Before reading your poem, I read the psalm and made a quick poetic attempt and humbly dare share:

    Night falls and the moon hides
    Deep shadows
    I know it is there as sure as I know, Lord, you are here.

    Turn your face
    hear, of Lord, the sound of anger
    See the burning streets, the trampling
    Of the weak and looting of houses.
    How long will the enemy prevail?
    How long before we see the glory of your face?

    Shine your light, blazing through the dark,
    our cries will turn to singing
    heaven and earth filled with the light of your glory.

  3. Evangeline Magee DeMaster

    Oh! That is SO beautiful! Malcolm Guite, I LOVE your perspective! So helpful…always. Thank you!

  4. David C Brown

    Very good – what promises we have.
    On the same day you posted this I received in my inbox:
    “”Psalm 13: God is for us”.
    “Not only in the midst of heartless and conscienceless enemies, but apparently forgotten of God, the soul trusts in His mercy, counts on Himself in goodness and faithfulness of mercy so as to rejoice in deliverance by His power before it comes. So we thank God, when we pray, before we receive the answer, because knowing in our hearts by faith that God has heard and answered us, we bless Him before His answer comes outwardly; and this is just the proof of faith…”

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