Against Thee Only Have I Sinn’d, I Own It

Against Thee only have I sinn’d, I own it,
And done this evil in Thy sight;
My guilt deserves Thy wrath, and Thou hast shown it,–
Ah! see my grief, my wretched plight.

My secret prayers and sighs Thou hearest plainly,
My tears are ever known to Thee;
Ah God, my God, and shall I seek Thee vainly?
How long wilt Thou be far from me?

Lord, not according to my guilt requite me,
But deal with me in tender grace;
Thy patience and long-suffering still invite me,
I come! Ah hide Thou not thy face!

Make me to sing once more of joy and gladness,
Father of mercies, hear my voice!
For Thy name’s sake, oh raise me from this sadness,
Thou, God, dost love that we rejoice.

Teach me Thy law, with spirit glad and fervent
Let me go forth upon my way;
Thou art my God, I am Thy willing servant
To do Thy pleasure day by day.

Oh haste Thou, my Defence, be now beside me!
Behold, the Lord hath heard my prayer!
Now on a plainer path His hand shall guide me,
My soul is safe beneath His care.

-Christian Friedrich Gellert, Psalm 51

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