Preserve Us, Hide Us, Hold Us: A Response to Psalm 64

Whilst still in the midst of our Christmas sequence of postsI am nevertheless resuming the thread of my sequence of poems responding to the psalms – David’s Crown. We have come now to Psalm 64, which is a simple plea for protection:

  1. HEAR my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
  2. Hide me from the gathering together of the froward: and from the insurrection of wicked doers;

One of its underlying metaphors is that of archery; in verses 43 and 4 the psalmist feels as though he is the target of hidden archers – and we all know that feeling, to be suddenly struck and hurt from an unexpected quarter whether is is a physical mishap or an emotional ambush,- we cry out for help as the psalmist does and look for some way of shielding ourselves. But then the metaphor turns, and in verse 7 the psalmist asks for God himself to be the archer, this time shooting in our defence. All this has entered into my own contemporary poetic response tooth’s psalm.

As always you can hear me read the psalm by clicking on the play button or the title.

These poems will all be gathered together and published on January 30th under the title David’s Crown. I am just working on the proofs now and there is already an amazon page for the book if you wish to pre-order it Here

LXIV Exaudi, Deus

Our hearts desire our risen lord and king,
And in our exile here we call to him:
‘Preserve us, hide us, hold us in the ring

Of your protecting love. For there are grim
Assailants round us, setting secret snares.
And when our lights are low, our vision dim

We tumble into trouble unawares
As this world’s traps and trappings snag our feet.
We stumble, all encumbered by its cares,

And soon the arrows pierce us; we retreat
From our first faith, we veer and compromise,
Despair of progress and accept defeat.

Hear us and rescue us. O Lord arise,
Shoot back for us with flaming darts of truth
And in your shining wisdom, make us wise’.

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3 Comments

Filed under imagination

3 responses to “Preserve Us, Hide Us, Hold Us: A Response to Psalm 64

  1. David C Brown

    The premier’s dependence is a fine feature, well captured in your response.

  2. Barbara L Parry

    Like looking to the warrior Orion in the stars to defend us against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?

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