Jan Kochanowski

1530 - 1584 / Sycyna / Poland

Lament XVIII

We are thy thankless children, gracious Lord.
The good thou dost afford
Lightly do we employ,
All careless of the one who giveth joy.

We heed not him from whom delights do flow.
Until they fade and go
We take no thought to render
That gratitude we owe the bounteous sender.

Yet keep us in thy care. Let not our pride
Cause thee, dear God, to hide
The glory of thy beauty:
Chasten us till we shall recall our duty.

Yet punish us as with a father's hand.
We mites, cannot withstand
Thine anger; we are snow,
Thy wrath, the sun that melts us in its glow.

Make us not perish thus, eternal God,
From thy too heavy rod.
Recall that thy disdain
Alone doth give thy children bitter pain.

Yet I do know thy mercy doth abound
While yet the spheres turn round,
And thou wilt never cast
Without the man who humbles him at last.

Though great and many my transgressions are,
Thy goodness greater far
Than mine iniquity:
Lord, manifest thy mercy unto me!
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