“Psalm 4”

O righteous Lord, my God, that you would hear
And answer me when I cry out to you,
And rescue me—for I am in distress.
Have mercy on me, Lord, and hear my prayer.
But you, O men, how long will you defame
My source of glory with your fantasies,
Preferring idols’ falsehood to the truth?

But God has set his godly ones apart
To be a holy people for his name,
And therefore he will hear me when I call.
But should you tremble, angry or in fear,
Despite anxiety, despite your wrath,
Be watchful, careful that you do not sin,
But rather, when you lie abed and rest,
In silence search your hearts under God’s light.

Make every sacrifice in righteousness,
And place wholehearted trust in God alone.
Though many ask whence any good can come,
We look to you alone, O Lord our God,
In hope your face will shine on us in light.
But you have filled my heart with plenteous joy
So that my joy must overflow its brim—-
More than the happy mirth of harvest plenty.
Therefore I will lie and sleep in peace,
For you, O Lord, have made my rest secure.

I wrote this setting of the fourth Psalm gradually over the past several weeks.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with yesterday’s archive installment, since the full archive is by now, at well over a hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share it with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also archived on my wiki.


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