Sunday Sonnet.

This sonnet is a little easier to turn into modern verse than last Sundays. Most of the corrections relate to spelling, and the classic puritan or reformed position is seen: one’s goodness comes from God, and one’s evil is all of your own doing. Though the millennial may doubt it, Locke speaks true.


Haue mercie, Lord, haue mercie: for I know
How muche I nede thy mercie in this case.
The horror of my gilt doth dayly growe,
And growing weares my feble hope of grace.
I fele and suffer in my thralled brest
Secret remorse and gnawing of my hart.
I fele my sinne, my sinne that hath opprest
My soule with sorrow and surmounting smart.
Drawe me to mercie: for so oft as I
Presume to mercy to direct my sight,
My Chaos and my heape of sinne doth lie,
Betwene me and thy mercies shining light.
What euer way I gaze about for grace,
My filth and fault are euer in my face.

Anne Locke

The main issue here is weares which is to wear out, make worn, abrade. I have left it as the modern transliteration. A thrall is a serf or slaved. It is two syllables. Smart means pain: but to say that would be to break scansion. Surmonting smart could be overwhelming pain…

From, of all places, the Guardian

Have mercy Lord, have mercy, for I know
How much I need your mercy in this case
The horror of my guild does daily grow
And growing, wears my feeble hope of grace

I feel and suffer in my enslaved breast
Secret remorse and gnawing of my heart
I feel my sin, my sin that has oppressed
My soul with sorrow and surmounting smart.

Draw me to mercy, for so often I
Presume to mercy so direct my sight
My chaos and my heap of sin does lie
Between me and your mercies shining light

What ever way I gaze about for grace
My filth and fault are ever in my face.

Anne Locke, transliterated.

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