Psalm 87.  Domine, Deus

My soul is sad even unto death

This Psalm is the despairing plea of a sick man nearing the hour of death.  It is probably the gloomiest of all the Psalms.  Pouring out his lamentation over and over, the psalmist does not manage to overcome his sufferings at all; neither does he manage to rise to a thought of trust and confidence in God.  His song ends on heavy note, still lamenting God's bitter wrath.

For us, the Psalm is an expression of our final agony and the torture of contrition on our deathbed.

 Gravity of the affliction

Dómine, Deus salútis meæ : * in die clamávi, et nocte coram te.
2
  Intret in conspéctu tuo orátio mea : * inclína aurem tuam ad precem meam :
3
  Quia repléta est malis ánima mea : * et vita mea inférno appropinquávit.
4
  Æstimátus sum cum descendéntibus in lacum : * factus sum sicut homo sine adjutório, inter mórtuos liber.
5
  Sicut vulneráti dormiéntes in sepúlcris, quorum non es memor ámplius : * et ipsi de manu tua repúlsi sunt.
6
  Posuérunt me in lacu inferióri : * in tenebrósis, et in umbra mortis.
7
  Super me confirmátus est furor tuus : * et omnes fluctus tuos induxísti super me.
8
  Longe fecísti notos meos a me : * posuérunt me abominatiónem sibi.

O Lord God of my salvation, * I have cried in the day, and in the night before thee.
2  O let my prayer enter into thy presence, * incline thine ear unto my calling;
3  For my soul is full of evils, * and my life draweth nigh unto hell.
4  I am counted as one of them that go down into the pit, * and I am even as a man that hath no strength, cast off among the dead.
5  Like unto them that are slain, and lie sleeping in the grave, who are out of remembrance, * and are cut away
from thy hand.
6  They have laid me in the lowest pit, * in a place of darkness, and in the shadow of death.
7  Thine indignation lieth hard upon me, * and thou hast vexed me with all thy storms.
8  Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me, * and made me to be abhorred of them.

 Plea for help

Tráditus sum, et non egrediébar : * óculi mei languérunt præ inópia.
10
 Clamávi ad te, Dómine, tota die : * expándi ad te manus meas.
11
  Numquid mórtuis fácies mirabília : * aut médici suscitábunt, et confitebúntur tibi?
12
  Numquid narrábit áliquis in sepúlcro misericórdiam tuam, * et veritátem tuam in perditióne?
13
  Numquid cognoscéntur in ténebris mirabília tua, * et justítia tua in terra obliviónis?

9  I was delivered up and came not forth : * my sight failed for very trouble.
10  All the day I have cried unto thee, O Lord, * I have stretched forth my hands unto thee.
11  Dost thou shew wonders among the dead? * or shall physicians raise up the dead again, that they may praise thee?
12  Shall any one in the grave shew thy mercy? * or thy truth in destruction?
13  Shall thy wondrous works be known in the dark? * and thy righteousness in the land of the forgotten?

 Renewed plea and description of misery

14  Et ego ad te, Dómine, clamávi : * et mane orátio mea prævéniet te.
15
  Ut quid, Dómine, repéllis oratiónem meam : * avértis fáciem tuam a me?
16
  Pauper sum ego, et in labóribus a juventúte mea : * exaltátus autem, humiliátus sum et conturbátus.
17
  In me transiérunt iræ tuæ : * et terróres tui conturbavérunt me.
18
  Circumdedérunt me sicut aqua tota die : * circumdedérunt me simul.
19
  Elongásti a me amícum et próximum : * et notos meos a miséria.

14  Unto thee have I cried, O Lord; * and early shall my prayer come before thee.
15  Lord, why abhorrest thou my prayer, * and hidest thou thy face from me?
16  I am in misery, and in labours even from my youth up ; * and being exalted have been humbled and troubled.
17  Thy wrathful displeasure goeth over me, * and thy terrors have troubled me.
18  They came round about me like water all the day, * and compassed me together on every side.
19  My friend and neighbour hast thou put away from me, * and from misery hid mine acquaintances out of my sight.