The Years of The Right Hand of God

A Poem By Caleb // 4/8/2018

This lyric is inspired by Psalm 77 verses 10-20.

I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.
I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (Psalm 77:10-11)

I chose the unusual words "years of the right hand of the most High" as my theme.

It's set to the tune ‘Brigante Se More’ by Carlo D’Angiò https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubIGp0BTikw

~

I will remember the works of the LORD
I will remember His wonders of old
Meditate also and talk of His doings
Sing of the years of the right hand of God.

Who is so mighty a God as our God?
Who with his right arm redeemed us of old,
Sent the sea rolling in fear and confusion
Back in the years of the right hand of God?

Sing how His clouds poured their waters on high,
Sing how His thunder song rolled through the sky
Sing of His arrows the wicked pursuing
Sing of the years of the right hand of God.

He made the voice of His thunder be heard
He made His lightening to lighten the world
Earth shook and trembled His majesty viewing,
Shook in the years of the right hand of God.

Deep in the sea is the way of the LORD
Deep in the ocean His footsteps of old;
Pathways untraceable past human knowing
Were shown in the years of the right hand of God.

You led your people, the sheep of your flock,
Led them along in the way they should walk
Gave to them shepherds in Moses and Aaron
Led them along by your right hand, O God.

~

How many of you ever try your hand at making poetry based on the Psalms or any part of the Bible? Poetry based off the Psalms has a good long tradition including The Bay Psalm Book, the first book published in British North America ( 1640), and poets such as John Milton, Isaac Watts, Martin Luther, Clement Marot (French court poet whose metrical psalms were sung in Geneva in Calvin's day) and Sir Philip Sidney with his sister the Countess of Pembroke. And of course people are still doing it today.

There are two main ways of approaching it -- one is to write a poem in which you try to stick very closely to what the psalm says (often those who have taken this approach wanted to sing the metrical psalms in church) and the other is to write something more loosely based on the psalm, expanding or expositing the original.

Mine is more loosely inspired by the Psalm, which is the easier approach. I think choosing a tune to work with also makes it easier.

Comments

This is great! I love the

This is great! I love the idea of writing a poem based on a psalm - and a particular phrase that strikes you from a psalm (or anywhere in Scripture, really). I've been delighted in psalm-based poems since I read Isaac Watts' Psalm 1 in school. Yes, it's definitely trickier to do it the first way, especially since if you start out with the goal of following Scripture as closely as possible, you feel pressured to not misrepresent anything.

Hannah D. | Sun, 04/08/2018

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

:)

The meter of this is phenomenal. It has such a strong rhythm to it.

Kyleigh | Tue, 04/10/2018

Thank you, Hannah & Kyleigh + some comments

I think Isaac Watts had a happy knack as a poet to sound like he's saying exactly what he wants to say very simply, and yet in perfect rhyme and meter -- from Psalm 40:

"When I'm afflicted, poor, and low,
And light and peace depart,
My God beholds my heavy woe,
And bears me on his heart."

His style was of course less literal, his book being called "The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian State and Worship." He thought it more faithful to David's original experience of the psalms to re-word David's particular concerns (and Old Testament perspective) to fit worshipping Christians' own experiences.

And to give the words for what are the joys and concerns of Christians he often went to the New Testament. He wrote in the preface:

"Where the Original runs in the Form of Prophecy concerning Christ and his Salvation, I have given an historical Turn to the Sense: There is no necessity that we should always sing in the obscure and doubtfull Style of Prediction, when the Things foretold are brought into open Light by a full Accomplishment."

The other day I ran into an interesting New Testament connection he went into in one of his versions of Psalm 8. When talking about how God put all things under man's feet, he says this about Jesus:

The waves lay spread beneath his feet;
And fish, at his command,
Bring their large shoals to Peter's feet,
Bring tribute to his hand.

~

I think in mine I unconsciously mixed Psalm 18 in.

"The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known." (Psalm 77:17-19)

And --

"The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils." (Psalm 18:13-15)

Caleb | Sun, 04/15/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

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