by The Maestro
O God! I was with fervor much restored,
In tears, did thank Thee for Thy saving grace!
But now – alas! – have I betrayed my Lord,
And have my former worthiness misplaced.
Thou didst forgive me once before, indeed,
And I, who was thereby once more revived,
Did seek with pure intention to proceed—
But then – how weak! – again my Lord denied.
How can I, God – indeed, have I the right
To beg Thee yet again for clemency?
How can I truly call myself contrite,
When thus I fall away continually?
No prayerful protest now can prove my love,
For I have proved already I love not.
Or if I love, ‘tis not my God above:
Nay! ‘Tis mine own pleasure I have sought!
This poor, self-seeking vanity and pride
Doth turn my gaze from God to viler things;
Forgetting that I must in God confide,
I seek what worldly satisfaction brings.
My first resolve was made in piety,
An honest thought indeed, an honest will.
Resolved was I to seek the Deity—
But lo! Temptation came, and so I fell.
How many times, O Lord, canst Thou forgive?
Dare I to crawl once more before Thy feet?
I, alas, who hath no right to live:
Can one like me once more Thy mercy seek?