[* Titled “Contrition” in Muir, ed.]

A.

Own me, Almighty God!
Help me, Holy Lord! You made heaven and earth
and every miracle, my Glory-King,
who exist in there, Eternal Lord,
great and multifold. I command to you,
famous God, my soul and my own body,
and my words and my works, Wise Lord,
and all my limbs, Herdsman of Light,
and the unfoldings of my thought. (1-9)

Show me, Herder of Stars,
where my soul may best
observe the desires of the Measurer,
so that I may flourish in you in all matters,
and raise up your counsel in me, Truth-fast King.
Nor allow the ultimate thief harm me in the shadows,
though I may harden what is weaker
for the shaping King of Glory, the powerful Lord,
when my good may exist. (10-18)

Grant me, my Lord, the time and understanding
and patience and memory of every matter
that you, Truth-fast King, wish to send to me
as an experiment. Now you know in me
many sinful deeds, feed me nonetheless,
O Measurer, for you mercy, though I may do
more grim guilts, when God grants me—
then I have need to strive after your favor
nevertheless, O Holy Heaven-King
with my days passing away, I see and seek
one life after another, that honor-fast God
grants me in eternal joy, permitting me existence,
though I amend my wicked deeds more slowly
when your commands were of holy and heavenly power. (19-36a)

Listen! You gave me many things in this world.
Establish my hope in you, fearful consideration,
so that it fixes a firm standing. Elevate my mind,
Good King of Souls, in your ready counsel.
Now I hasten to you, Father of Mankind,
from this world, now I knew what I must,
full of unlovely faults—feed me then,
Sovereigns of Destiny, in your worldly joys,
and permit me to pass away, dearest Lord,
comfort of my soul. Then there are too many angry,
given to covetousness, when I have
comfort with the Lord, although I earlier
merited little mercy in my time. Allow the angels
to take me in your proximity nevertheless,
Delivering King, Measurer, out of your mercy. (36b-51a)

Though I have committed many wicked deeds
in my days, do not let me be led unto the devil
yet into your limbs on a hateful journey,
lest they are allowed to rejoice in your consideration
when they seemed to give them themselves,
those angels more prideful than Eternal Christ. (51b-56)

They deceived themselves in their belief—
therefore they must for a long time…
those accursed creatures, suffered revenge.
Defend me and disturb them, when the storm comes
against my spirit—then comfort my soul,
Mighty Lord, protect them and feed them,
Father of Mankind, thinking brightly,
whole, Eternal God, Measurer so powerful. (57-64a)

Now is my soul besmirched with sin, and I am
fearful about the distant journey about the soul,
though you have given me many graces upon this earth.
All thanks are yours for the rewards and the mercies,
which you have given me. None of these merits
were with of any them— (64b-70a)

 

B.

Yet I wish to keep all courage
and laugh and hope for myself,
to spangle myself on the spirit-way
and hasten myself onto this journey,
which I must set out upon, readied in my soul,
and endure all that for God with a blithe mind—
now I am bound fast in my spirit. (71-76a)

Indeed the Master knows some of my sins
which I do not know to understand wisely of myself.
I have angered God, the Prince of Mankind—
therefore I am punished bitterly thus for this world,
as my deeds were so great before men,
so that I suffered a deep martyrdom.
I am not wise of judgment, wise before the assembly—
therefore I spoke this word ready in my spirit,
as it happened to me at the start, misery upon the earth,
so that I suffered always every year—God be praised!—
more distress of mind in others, fright among folk—
therefore I am hurried, wretched in my homeland. (76b-89a)

Nor can the lone-dweller, deprived of the joys of men,
survive for long after, an exile bereft of friends—
The wrath of the Measurer is his—grieving for his youth,
and men assist them in every occasion,
increasing his misery—and he suffers all that,
the painful words of men, and his mind
is more wretched, a spirit morning-sick. (89b-96a)

I speak this pained message mostly about myself,
and discuss this about the journey, ready to long,
and consider upon the waters
knowing not my own—
why I should buy a boat upon the sea,
the float upon the shore—I do not have much gold—
nor indeed any friends who may aid me
upon this venture. Now I cannot perform my own desires
on account of my scanty hoard. (96b-104)

The wood might increase for him, awaiting the outcome,
leading its branches—I cannot love in my mind
any of mankind for my calumny, a noble in his homeland.
Alas my Lord, mighty Protector!
That I am sick of heart, enraged bitterly—
the remedy is with you, belonging to my life.
I cannot in the light abide for anything in the earth
dispossessed of health, having only hardship— (105-113)

When I have been freed from this alien nation,
a desirable homeland, sorrows of my love
were always mine as reward.
Yet it will be best, when one cannot
avert these events from himself,
what he may well endure. (114-118)