"I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why thou dost contend against me. Does it seem good to thee to oppress, to despise the work of thy hands and favor the designs of the wicked? Hast thou eyes of flesh? Dost thou see as man sees? Are thy days as the days of man, or thy years as man's years, that thou dost seek out my iniquity and search for my sin, although thou knowest that I am not guilty, and there is none to deliver out of thy hand?
Thy hands fashioned and made me; and now thou dost turn about and destroy me? Remember that thou hast made me of clay; and wilt thou turn me to dust again? Didst thou not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? Thou didst clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and steadfast love; and thy care has preserved my spirit. Yet these things thou didst hide in thy heart; I know that this was thy purpose.
If I sin, thou dost mark me, and dost not acquit me of my iniquity. If I am wicked, woe to me! If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head, for I am filled with disgrace and look upon my affliction. And if I lift myself up, thou dost hunt me like a lion, and again work wonders against me; thou dost renew thy witnesses against me, and increase thy vexation toward me; thou dost bring fresh hosts against me. "Why didst thou bring me forth from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me, and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave. Are not the days of my life few? Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort before I go whence I shall not return, to the land of gloom and deep darkness, the land of gloom and chaos, where light is as darkness."
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Taedet animam meam vitae meae
Not exactly similar, but not too distant from Psalm 44, are those piercing, powerful words from the tenth chapter of the Book of Job. (Set to haunting polyphony at the very beginning of Spanish composer Tomas Luís de Victoria's Requiem, one of my favorite piecese of renaissance choral music.)