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109

SIRACH’S PRAYER FOR A HAPPY AND TEMPERATE LIFE.

O Gott, mein Schoepfer, edler Fuerst

8,7,8,7,8,7,8,7,7

110

Creator, Father, Prince of might!

Who life to me art giving,

Unless Thou guid’st my life aright

In vain here am I living.

For while I’m living, I am dead,

To sin devoted ever;

Whose life in mire of sin is led,

The true life he hath never

Beheld one moment even.

Then turn on Thy poor child Thy face,

In darkness do not leave me;

That I may shun sin and disgrace,

Good counsel ever give me!

To keep my lips a guard, Lord, send,

May no word ever leave them

That e’er Thy people could offend

Let nought I say e’er grieve them,

Nor ever Thee dishonour!

Forbid, Father! that mine ear

Upon this earth so evil,

Against Thy name and pow’r should hear

The wicked rage and cavil.

Let not the poison and the gall

Of slanderers defile me;

If I such filth should touch at all

It surely would beguile me,

Might e’en quite overthrow me.

Lord, keep mine eyes, control their glance,

May they work evil never;

A bold and shameless countenance

Keep Thou far from me ever!

What’s honest, keeps due boundaries,

What angels seek in heaven,

What is well-pleasing in Thine eyes,

For it by me be striven,

All luxury disdaining.

Oh! may I ne’er delighted be

By revelling and eating;

Be what Thou lov’st belov’d by me,

Though others shun it, hating.

111

The lusts wherein the flesh doth roll,

To hell will draw us ever;

The joys the world doth love, the soul

And spirit will deliver

To torment everlasting.

Oh! happy he who eats heav’n’s bread,

And heav’nly water drinketh,

Who tastes nought else, nought else doth heed,

Nought else desires, and thinketh

Of that alone which strength can bring,

The life we’ll live for ever

With God, and with the hosts who sing

His praise, in joy that never

Shall know an interruption.

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