Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (18591919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903. Psalm CXXXIX
By Mary Countess of Pembroke (1555?1621)
O L ORD, 1 in me there lieth nought
But to Thy search revealed lies;
For when I sit
Thou markest it;
No less Thou notest when I rise; 5
Yea, closest closet of my thought
Hath open windows to Thine eyes.
Thou walkest with me when I walk;
When to my bed for rest I go,
I find Thee there 10
Not youngest thought in me doth grow,
No, not one word I cast to talk,
But, yet unuttered, Thou dost know.
If forth I march, Thou gost before; 15
If back I turn, Thou comst behind;
So forth nor back
Thy guard I lack.
Nay, on me too Thy hand I find.
Well I Thy wisdom may adore 20
But never reach with earthy mind.
To shun Thy notice, leave Thine eye,
O whither might I take my way?
To starry sphere?
Thy throne is there. 25
To dead mens undelightsome stay?
There is Thy walk, and there to lie
Unknown in vain I should assay.
O sun, whom light nor flight can match,
Suppose thy lightful flightful wings 30
Thou lend to me
And I could flee
As far as Thee the evening brings:
Evn led to west He would me catch,
Nor should I lurk with western things. 35
Do thou thy best, O secret night,
In sable veil to cover me:
Thy sable veil
Shall vainly fail;
With day unmasked my night shall be; 40
For night is day, and darkness light, O Father of all lights, to Thee.
Mary Herbert, celebrated in Brownes epitaph as Sidneys sister, Pembrokes mother, versified the Psalter, from Psalm xliv. to the end; her brother being responsible for the earlier portion. [ Note 1. back]