Here, O my God, I cast me at Thy feet,
Ready to suffer what Thou thinkest meet;
Yet look on me, great God, with pitying eyes,
Reward me not for mine iniquities!
To oft, alas! my heart hath loved to stray
Downward along Sin's broad and easy way;
And worldly pride and carnal lusts most foul
Were shameless cherished in my inmost soul.
Thy Majesty have I offended, Lord,
And set at nought Thy law, Thy holy Word;
I had not learnt Thy righteous wrath to dread,
Nor saw the vengeance gathering o'er my head.
O wretched man, what evil have I wrought!
Who may these heavy chains of sin unbind?
Can man nor creature show me any place,
Where I may flee and hide me from God's face!
Nay, I must flee to God Himself, from whom
Our life and help, our hope and safety come;
What all the world must unaccomplished leave,
Thou, for Thou art Almighty, canst achieve.
Think on the covenant Thou hast never broken,
Think on the steadfast oath Thyself hast spoken,
Know that I am a God, Thy promise saith,
Who hath no pleasure in a sinner's death.
Then let the arms of love be round me thrown,
Have pity on me, hear my bitter moan,
Call back Thy sheep, that wandering far astray,
Was lost in sin, nor knew its homeward way.
Grant me to rule my inner life aright,
And act and speak as ever in Thy sight,
A friend to all true virtue, but a foe
To all Thou hatest, sins and follies low.
Thou Merciful! what thanks and praise shall be
For Thy great goodness offered unto Thee,
As is most meet, while here my days I spend,
And yonder in the world that shall not end!
Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #27