Psalm 19: Coeli Enarrant
by Sir Philip Sidney 1554-1586
The heavenly frame sets forth the fame
Of him that only thunders;
The firmament, so strangely bent,
Shows his handworking wonders.
Day unto day doth it display,
Their course doth it acknowledge,
And night to night succeeding right
In darkness teach clear knowledge.
There is no speech, no language which
Is so of skill bereaved,
But of the skies the teaching cries
They have heard and conceived.
There be no eyen but read the line
From so fair book proceeding,
Their words be set in letters great
For everybody’s reading.
Is not he blind that doth not find
The tabernacle builded
There by His Grace for sun’s fair face
In beams of beauty gilded?
Who forth doth come, like a bridegroom,
From out his veiling places,
As glad is he, as giants be
To run their mighty races.
His race is even from ends of heaven;
About that vault he goeth;
There be no realms hid from his beams;
His heat to all he throweth.
O law of His, how perfect ’tis
The very soul amending;
God’s witness sure for aye doth dure
To simplest wisdom lending.
God’s dooms be right, and cheer the sprite,
All His commandments being
So purely wise it gives the eyes
Both light and force of seeing.
Of Him the fear doth cleanness bear
And so endures forever,
His judgments be self verity,
They are unrighteous never.
Then what man would so soon seek gold
Or glittering golden money?
By them is past in sweetest taste,
Honey or comb of honey.
By them is made Thy servants’ trade
Most circumspectly guarded,
And who doth frame to keep the same
Shall fully be rewarded.
Who is the man that ever can
His faults know and acknowledge?
O Lord, cleanse me from faults that be
Most secret from all knowledge.
Thy servant keep, lest in him creep
Presumtuous sins’ offenses;
Let them not have me for their slave
Nor reign upon my senses.
So shall my sprite be still upright
In thought and conversation,
So shall I bide well purified
From much abomination.
So let words sprung from my weak tongue
And my heart’s meditation,
My saving might, Lord, in Thy sight,
Receive good acceptation!