In my new sequence of poems written in response to the Psalter we have come to psalm 37. One of the most trenchant, and the most comforting of the psalms, it puts the brief flourishing of wickedness in this world into its true context and invites us to re-orient our loves and desires, to delight in the true God who knows our hearts and will give us our heart’s desire:
- FRET not thyself because of the ungodly: neither be thou envious against the evil-doers.
- For they shall soon be cut down like the grass: and be withered even as the green herb.
- Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good: dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
- Delight thou in the Lord: and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire.
- Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him: and he shall bring it to pass.
- He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light: and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
In my response to this poem I have dwelt on both the lovely promise that He will give us our heart’s desire, which is really the desire for God himself, and also on that image of the clear and growing light of his coming Kingdom. I also allude briefly to that passage in Milton’s Comus where the two brothers are discussing the problem of evil and one of them says
But evil on itself shall back recoil,
And mix no more with goodness…
As usual you can hear me read the poem by pressing the ‘play’ button if it appears, or else by clicking on the title. For the other poems in my psalm series type the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.
I’ll fret no more for passing wickedness,
No more than for the new mown grass that fades
To leave room for the growth and tenderness
Of fresh green leaves; the cool inviting glades
Of my new life in you, my heart’s desire.
The True Sun rises now, and soon the shades,
The last black shades of night, will ‘back retire
And mix no more with good’. Then I will sing
The song of my redemption in that choir
Where I, whom you have made, at last can bring
My song to its beginning and its end.
Till then I’ll be content with each small thing
Your love provides, and let the rich contend
With one another for their fading wealth
For I have found my God and my true friend.
If you are enjoying these posts, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!