-The soul laments at the vanities that surround her here in this land of exile;
whilst interceding for her lost companions who roam and wander blind in the land of Egypt-
Behold these people, what is it that they do?
They fritter about like aimless ants;
They convince themselves that all is swell.
They delight in the shallow puddle of created comforts,
They drink in excess from the pond of experience.
They whistle and shout about, as if the world were their oyster.
O these blind people, bewitched by the folly of the world.
They sow not for eternal harvest,
They shall reap not from eternal harvest.
They labour to sow in this world;
Eager and lusty to reap as soon as they’ve sown.
They know not patience,
Yet they’re impatient for what?
To receive emptiness?
Ah but they think that which is worthless is priceless!
They see their gods, they taste their gods,
They touch, hear and smell their gods.
My God is beyond all that,
I cannot even comprehend Him;
But the little I do, I am overwhelmed and am left fainting.
For His Love is like a fire, a fire that burns within me,
That consumes me, delights me, pains me and gladdens me.
Yet “what need have we?” say they,
“Of a God beyond my senses?
I enjoy life today and enjoy the fruit of my toil.
I am a god with many gods,
I worship pleasures and they worship me.
Dainty and sweet is my existence,
Yet you, where is your God?
I see no proof of his ways, no sign of his existence.
A fairy tale you've constructed,
A fantasy to escape the dullness of being.
Where is your God?
I see not, I hear not; thus I believe not.
Even if he did exist, he is not so good is he?
This world is a whirling mess, this world is depressed.
Go ahead, I respect your commitment to delusion,
Just let me live my life like the flash it is.”
O God my God, such folly breaks my heart!
They waste their time on shadows, and adulterate with shadows.
They cannot see that they are loved; and their hearts are closed to your healing flame.
They do not believe in life eternal, and they think the darkness of the grave is life's goodbye;
Thus they frolic in the fields of earthly life, pretending they are not afraid.
They crave constant movement, they are greedy for distractions.
Anything that will numb the pain and hide the void of hollow soul.
They flee from silence, fearing to taste their bitter self;
If only they knew that they were fleeing from the threshold of hope.
And then there are those who enter the silence,
Who dwell still in the valley of self-company.
If only they would cry to you from the valley of their despair.
Yet intuiting your existence they keep silent;
Convinced you hate them, when you merely yearn to embrace them.
O God my God, I can no longer bear this absurdity!
My heart it aches, my bones they quake.
Can you not deliver these people from their ways?
Can you not tear the wool from their eyes?
O but they love their wool!
Soft and warm, comfortable and pleasurable;
Can you really blame them O my God?
What man has gone after them to teach them the ways of truth?
What man has gone before their assemblies to proclaim your Name and your love?
Ah too few my God, too few.
And the few that have gone?
Perhaps they've spoken truth, but certainly without its tenderness.
Have mercy on them I pray, set them free from worldly ways.
I cannot stand this any longer,
My brothers, my sisters,
They’re blind, deaf and dumb!
They have become like the idols they adore.
And yet was it not for them that your Son shed his blood?
Was it not for them that your Son came to save?
This world it sickens me,
The vanity of my brothers and sisters it wounds me.
To see them chip away each day, as if they had no soul, as if they had no God.
And yet who am I O God? Am I any better than they?
Ah I am even worse than they! And this grieves me most of all.
They are blind and yet I see;
Yet I use my eyes as if I could not see, for still I stumble, still I fall.
But I am not despairing O God; no not at all.
For I trust in Thee and still I yearn to see Thee face to Face;
When Thou hast delivered me with this my poor company,
From all and every vanity.