I particularly love psalm 65, not least for its long and rich associations with Harvest festivals and the beautiful anthem setting of its words: a distillation of rich and abundant goodness:
thou that makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to praise thee.
Thou visitest the earth, and blessest it: thou makest it very plenteous.
The river of God is full of water: thou preparest their corn, for so thou providest for the earth.
Thou waterest her furrows, thou sendest rain into the little valleys thereof: thou makest it soft with the drops of rain, and blessest the increase of it.
Thou crownest the year with thy goodness: and thy clouds drop fatness.
In making my own response to this harvest psalm I wanted to bring in the distinctly Christian sense that the valleys’ standing so thick with corn that they shall laugh and sing’ in this psalm, are a symbolic anticipation of the resurrection, since Christ compares his death and resurrection to the sowing and germination of a single grain, and Paul describes his resurrection as ‘ the first-fruits of those who sleep’
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
LXV Te decet hymnus
Lord in your shining wisdom, make us wise.
Morning and evening turn to you in praise,
Your glory stands where steadfast mountains rise.
Your presence girds us like the sea. The days
Arrive as gifts from you. The starlit nights
All manifest the beauty of your ways.
Your love touches the earth itself, alights
Not just in rain and growth and plenteousness
Or in the crowning goodness, which delights
The eye at harvest, but you visit us
And bless us far more deeply in your Son
Who came, a grain of wheat, sown deep for us
Into the furrowed grave, planted alone
That we might die and rise again with him
In the rich valley of the resurrection.
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