How loftily, O Sovereign Lord, our Lord,
Have you displayed your name, your character,
In all the universe that you have made!
Your glory shines from far above the skies;
Your praise rings out from even infants’ lips,
That all your enemies may be struck dumb.
Ah, Lord, when I look up above the hills
And think of all the lights that shine in space,
The ever-changing moon and countless stars—
How small, how insignificant am I!
For of what worth is any human being,
The greatest of the race of Adam’s sons?
And why should you show care for one so small?
But you have set him high above your world,
Just lower than the servants of your heaven,
Have set your crown of honor on his head,
And in his hand all rule, authority,
Above this entire world that you have made.
How loftily, O Lord, have you shown forth
The glory of your name in all the earth!
As longtime readers may remember, I began my project of creating verse settings of the entire Psalter with Psalm 1 back in 2012. I began this after finishing Psalm 7 last fall, and finished it in late January or early February of this year.
This is one of the Psalms I’ve been looking forward to setting into blank verse, both as one of my favorite psalms and as posing some particular challenges that a poet may try to meet.
As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments); get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing; or follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things). You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.