The Strong Song of His Wisdom: A Response to Psalm 49

Psalm 49, with its famous line: ‘I will incline mine ear to the parable: and shew my dark speech upon the harp’, is a psalm about listening, about tuning in to hear the voice of God’s wisdom, even in the midst of the cacophony of false claims that surround us. It’s a call to reject the world’s way, which trusts in passing wealth, and to put our trust again in the only thing that remains: the abiding love of God. This is a psalm that gives us back our spiritual compass in a world that veers back and forth between false hope and premature despair, and that is something I have tried to reflect in this poem.

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

XLIX Audite haec, omnes

Where Christ himself is there to welcome you
Then you are home, wherever you may fare.
And Christ will keep your inner compass true

Though all the world is rushing everywhere,
This way and that before the winds of fear,
 Between false hopes and premature despair.

But you can hear a different tune. You hear
The strong song of his wisdom. Open your ears
To hear his parables, although the foolish veer

Between their fatuous desires and fears,
With fickle fortunes that they fear to share.
Keep your security in Christ, who hears

The slightest murmur of your smallest prayer,
And do not be afraid, but trust in him,
Your heart’s in heaven, keep your treasure there. 

.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “The Strong Song of His Wisdom: A Response to Psalm 49

  1. Love this so much. Touches the heart…

  2. Evangeline Magee DeMaster

    Thank you!

  3. zsoltaros

    Dear Malcolm; I started to learn English as an adult-child at the age of 21. 40 years later, meditating this morning on the truths foretold in the Psalm and expressed in your poetry, I am so thankful for this language mirroring my reality and grace-bound future: “…not be afraid, but trust in him,
    Your heart’s in heaven, keep your treasure there.” Thank you!

  4. Though all the world is rushing everywhere,
    This way and that before the winds of fear,
    Between false hopes and premature despair.

    Keep your security in Christ, who hears

    The slightest murmur of your smallest prayer,
    And do not be afraid, but trust in him,
    Your heart’s in heaven, keep your treasure there.
    ~ Malcolm Guite

    Yes, yes. Thank you so much.
    Such power in those words.

  5. anne carrington

    When I click to hear the poem, I get a message that says “invalid source”. Anyone have any idea how to fix this?

    • malcolmguite

      Hi Anne, I’m not sure whey that is. Its working right now on my computer. But WordPress have just changes all their editing software and given us no option but to use the new programme which I am finding very difficult so something may have been lost there. There is no hyoerink on the title now, just the embedded player

  6. bscotford755btinternetcom

    Your response to the psalm has produced a comforting and reassuring poem. Two images strike me; ‘strong song’- words that have enfolded into their pairing colour, sound, strength and hope: and in contrast, that beautiful image – ‘the slightest murmur of your smallest prayer’. There is huge tenderness and kindness evoked in that description. It evokes for me how perhaps God regards our prayers; there’s a childlike innocence in the image.
    Thank you for your realisation and re-working of the theme within that psalm.

  7. Alice Hornbeck

    I too find such reality not before worded to me in the line ” false hopes and premature despair”. I see it everywhere. I’ve been thinking about thus for two days now and want to thank you.

  8. Catherine

    I have read and re-read this one – such a gentle and comforting poem thank you

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