It seems fitting to post the 8th poem in my corona on The Psalms in this time of Ascensiontude because Psalm 8 is often set as an ‘ascension psalm’. This is because its opening verse: O LORD our Governor, how excellent is thy Name in all the world: thou that hast set thy glory above the heavens! seems so completely fitting for the ascension of the risen christ to the right hand of the father’, and again because the famous 5th verse in which the psalmist reflects on our position as human beings in the scale of creation ‘ a little lower than the angels‘ but nevertheless given responsibility, also seemed to speak of Christ’s descent to us and then in ascension his being crowned with Glory:
For me though, as I came two write this sequence, the most striking thing about this psalm, apart from the sheer beauty of its evocation of the moon and the stars, was the range and scale of its reference: we go in just a few words from the ‘glory above the heavens‘ in verse 1, to Wisdom coming out of the mouths of babes and sucklings in verse 2.
So here is my response to psalm 8, as always you can hear me read it by clicking on the ‘play’ button or title, and you can read the original psalm Here
You can find the other poems in this series by typing ‘psalms’ into the search box
Before the splendour of the resurrection
Dawns and transforms the world, I’ll watch the lights
Of heaven, each a glory, in their station,
Harbingers of greater heaven, keeping nights
Of watch with us, the moving moon and stars,
His handiwork in which he still delights.
And I will listen too: open my ears
To every creature that still speaks his name
From babes and sucklings to those crowned with years,
For wisdom laughs and lives in both. The flame
Of love is kindled round the world in old
And young. I’ll seek him too beyond the tame
Familiar world, out in the wide and wild,
As much in the steep seas, and mountain heights
As in the startling wisdom of a child.
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