Out of the Depths, My Praise

Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), "Prison Interior"
Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), “Prison Interior”

De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine; Domine, exaudi vocem meam.  
[Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice!](Ps. 130:1)

I praise You, Father,
Whom the weak, the broken, the crippled,
And the forsaken praise, their voices
Grief-choked, caught in lungs half-strangled
By sorrow, stumbling yet towards You
In full-throated or unuttered cries somehow
Reaching the heavens, feebly these mewling
Infants in whose tremulous mouths
You have ordained praise, frail
Flesh, despised in their chains
As slaves, chattels, scorned and bruised, ciphers each –
De profundis, Domine, clamavi ad te –
I praise You as those among the cast off and forsaken,
The stumbling sinner staggered
By the weight of glory on bowed heads
In the shadow of the broken-bodied cross
Bequeathing to the beggar and wretch a royal
Priesthood, an inheritance in Zion of mountain,
Meadow, running brook, ocean-surging
Love filling the abyss – De profundis clamavi ad te
Abba! Father! – lifting into the daybreak
Out of darkness into light, into Your voice singing over this
One, singular, immortal soul,
Praising You for dear life.

“Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.” (Zephaniah 3:16-19) 

4 thoughts on “Out of the Depths, My Praise

  1. Excellent work. Great old English style alliterative verse, making the worshipper seem primitive and wanting washing and astonished at their own good fortune in God. Self-deprecation in worship is something we should all be reminded about once in a while.


    1. Thank you. I appreciate your insights into the language of the poem and, yes, without humility worship is shorn of any apprehension of grace and thus the throne of grace itself which we strive to approach in prayer.


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