Some of us have been celebrating our fiftieth birthdays this year, and that fact has occasioned reflections on this blog upon the passage of time; so perhaps it is fitting for me to mark also the commemoration today of the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of Dr. Samuel Johnson, the English lexicographer and man of letters. Not long ago, I had picked up again James Boswell’s monumental biography of him, without realizing that this anniversary was coming up; and I was struck by certain passages of that book which relate Johnson’s dislike of Americans and his contempt for democracy (“Whiggism”), passages which I reproduce below. In spite of his anti-Americanism, Johnson is a favorite author of mine, and has been since I was in high school. When I was in England in the 1980’s, I attended the college at Oxford where Johnson had been enrolled, Pembroke; among the various Johnsoniana on display in the college’s library is his teapot. I give below also a sampling of Dr. Johnson’s prayers.

From Boswell’s Life of Johnson, R. W. Chapman, ed. (Oxford 1953), p. 590.

The doubts which, in my correspondence with him, I had ventured to state as to the justice and wisdom of the conduct of Great-Britain towards the American colonies, while I at the same time requested that he would enable me to inform myself upon that momentous subject, he had altogether disregarded; and had recently published a pamphlet, entitled, Taxation no Tyranny; an answer to the Resolutions and Address of the American Congress.

He had long before indulged most unfavourable sentiments of our fellow-subjects in America. For, as early as 1769, I was told by Dr. John Campbell, that he had said of them, ‘Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for any thing we allow them short of hanging.’

Boswell goes on to cite an unpublished paragraph from Taxation no Tyranny (op. cit., p. 592):

‘Their numbers are, at present, not quite sufficient for the greatness which, in some form of government or other, is to rival the ancient monarchies; but by Dr. Franklin’s rule of progression, they will, in a century and a quarter, be more than equal to the inhabitants of Europe. When the Whigs of America are thus multiplied, let the Princes of the earth tremble in their palaces. If they should continue to double and to double, their own hemisphere would not contain them. But let not our boldest oppugners of authority look forward with delight to this futurity of Whiggism.’

Op. cit., p. 946:

From this pleasing subject he, I know not how or why, made a sudden transition to one upon which he was a violent aggressor; for he said, ‘I am willing to love all mankind, except an American:’ and his inflammable corruption bursting into horrid fire, he ‘breathed out threatenings and slaughter;’ calling them, ‘Rascals—Robbers—Pirates;’ and exclaiming, he’d ‘burn and destroy them.’ Miss Seward, looking to him with mild but steady astonishment, said, ‘Sir, this is an instance that we are always most violent against those whom we have injured.’ —He was irritated still more by this delicate and keen reproach; and roared out another tremendous volley, which one might fancy could be heard across the Atlantick. During this tempest I sat in great uneasiness, lamenting his heat of temper; till, by degrees, I diverted his attention to other topicks.

Op. cit., pp. 947-950:

He as usual defended luxury; ‘You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending it in luxury, than by giving it: for by spending it in luxury, you make them exert industry, whereas by giving it, you keep them idle. I own, indeed, there may be more virtue in giving it immediately in charity, than in spending it in luxury; though there may be a pride in that too.’ Miss Seward asked, if this was not Mandeville’s doctrine of ‘private vices publick benefits.’ Johnson. ‘The fallacy of that book is, that Mandeville defines neither vices nor benefits. He reckons among vices everything that gives pleasure. He takes the narrowest system of morality, monastick morality, which holds pleasure itself to be a vice, such as eating salt with our fish, because it makes it taste better; and he reckons wealth as a publick benefit, which is by no means always true. Pleasure of itself is not a vice. Having a garden, which we all know to be perfectly innocent, is a great pleasure. At the same time, in this state of being there are many pleasures vices, which however are so immediately agreeable that we can hardly abstain from them. The happiness of Heaven will be, that pleasure and virtue will be perfectly consistent. Mandeville puts the case of a man who gets drunk in an ale-house; and says it is a publick benefit, because so much money is got by it to the publick. But it must be considered, that all the good gained by this, through the gradation of alehouse-keeper, brewer, maltster, and farmer, is overbalanced by the evil caused to the man and his family by his getting drunk. This is the way to try what is vicious, by ascertaining whether more evil than good is produced by it upon the whole, which is the case in all vice. It may happen that good is produced by vice; but not as vice; for instance, a robber may take money from its owner, and give it to one who will make a better use of it. Here is good produced; but not by the robbery as robbery, but as translation of property. I read Mandeville forty, or, I believe, fifty years ago. He did not puzzle me; he opened my views into real life very much. No, it is clear that the happiness of society depends on virtue. In Sparta, theft was allowed by general consent: theft, therefore, was there not a crime, but then there was no security; and what a life must they have had, when there was no security. Without truth there must be a dissolution of society. As it is, there is so little truth, that we are almost afraid to trust our ears; but how should we be, if falsehood were multiplied ten times? Society is held together by communication and information; and I remember this remark of Sir Thomas Brown’s, “Do the devils lie? No; for then Hell could not subsist.”’…

Somebody mentioned the Reverend Mr. Mason’s prosecution of Mr. Murray, the bookseller, for having inserted in a collection of Gray’s Poems, only fifty lines, of which Mr. Mason had still the exclusive property, under the statute of Queen Anne; and that Mr. Mason had persevered, notwithstanding his being requested to name his own terms of compensation. Johnson signified his displeasure at Mr. Mason’s conduct very strongly; but added, by way of shewing that he was not surprized at it, ‘Mason’s a Whig.’ Mrs. Knowles. (not hearing distinctly,) ‘What! a Prig, Sir?’ Johnson. ‘Worse, Madam; a Whig! But he is both.’

I expressed a horrour at the thought of death. Mrs. Knowles. ‘Nay, thou should’st not have a horrour for what is the gate of life.’ Johnson. (standing upon the hearth rolling about, with a serious, solemn, and somewhat gloomy air,) ‘No rational man can die without uneasy apprehension.’ Mrs. Knowles. ‘The Scriptures tell us, “The righteous shall have hope in his death.”’ Johnson. ‘Yes, Madam; that is, he shall not have despair. But, consider, his hope of salvation must be founded on the terms on which it is promised that the mediation of our Saviour shall be applied to us,—namely, obedience; and where obedience has failed, then, as suppletory to it, repentance. But what man can say that his obedience has been such, as he would approve of in another, or even in himself upon close examination, or that his repentance has not been such as to require being repented of? No man can be sure that his obedience and repentance will obtain salvation.’ Mrs. Knowles. ‘But divine intimation of acceptance may be made to the soul.’ Johnson. ‘Madam, it may; but I should not think the better of a man who should tell me on his death-bed he was sure of salvation. A man cannot be sure himself that he has divine intimation of acceptance; much less can he make others sure that he has it.’ Boswell. ‘Then, Sir, we must be contented to acknowledge that death is a terrible thing.’ Johnson. ‘Yes, Sir. I have made no approaches to a state which can look on it as not terrible.’ Mrs. Knowles. (seeming to enjoy a pleasing serenity in the possession of benignant divine light,) ‘Does not St. Paul say, “I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished my course; henceforth is laid up for me a crown of life?”’ Johnson. ‘Yes, Madam; but here was a man inspired, a man who had been converted by supernatural interposition.’ Boswell. ‘In prospect death is dreadful; but in fact we find that people die easy.’ Johnson. ‘Why, Sir, most people have not thought much of the matter, so cannot say much, and it is supposed they die easy. Few believe it certain that they are then to die; and those who do, set themselves to behave with resolution, as a man does who is going to be hanged.’ Miss Seward. ‘There is one mode of the fear of death, which is certainly absurd; and that is the dread of annihilation, which is only a pleasing sleep without a dream.’ Johnson. ‘It is neither pleasing, nor sleep; it is nothing. Now mere existence is so much better than nothing, that one would rather exist even in pain, than not exist.’ Boswell. ‘If annihilation be nothing, then existing in pain is not a comparative state, but a positive evil, which I cannot think we should choose. I must be allowed to differ here; and it would lessen the hope of a future state founded on the argument, that the Supreme Being, who is good as he is great, will hereafter compensate for our present sufferings in this life. For if existence, such as we have it here, be comparatively a good, we have no reason to complain, though no more of it should be given to us. But if our only state of existence were in this world, then we might with some reason complain that we are so dissatisfied with our enjoyments compared with our desires.’ Johnson. ‘The lady confounds annihilation, which is nothing, with the apprehension of it, which is dreadful. It is in the apprehension of it that the horrour of annihilation consists.’

From E. L. McAdam, Jr., ed., Samuel Johnson: Diaries, Prayers, and Annals (New Haven and London, 1958), pp. 138-140.

O Lord God, in whose hand are the wills and affections of men, kindle in my mind holy desires, and repress sinful and corrupt imaginations. Enable me to love thy commandments, and to desire thy promises; let me by thy protection and influence so pass through things temporal, as finally not to lose the things eternal, and among the hopes and fears, the pleasures and sorrows, the dangers and deliverances, and all the changes of this life, let my heart be surely fixed by the help of thy Holy Spirit on the everlasting fruition of thy presence, where true joys are to be found, grant O Lord, these petitions.

Forgive, O merciful Lord, whatever I have done contrary to thy laws. Give me such a sense of my Wickedness as may produce true contrition and effectual repentance, so that when I shall be called into another state, I may be received among the sinners, to whom sorrow and reformation have obtained pardon, for Jesus Christs Sake. Amen.

O merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity, who sparest when we deserve punishment, and in thy wrath thinkest upon mercy, make me earnestly to repent, and heartily to be sorry for all my misdoings, make the remembrance so burdensome and painful, that I may flee to Thee with a troubled spirit, and a contrite heart; and O merciful Lord visit, comfort, and relieve me, cast me not out from thy presence and take not thy Holy Spirit from me, but excite in me true repentance, give me in this world knowledge of thy truth, and confidence in thy mercy, and in the world to come life everlasting, for the sake of our Lord and Saviour, thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

In nativitatem Mariae

September 8, 2009

Today is celebrated the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. The following hymn is the eighth ode from a canon for the feast; the Greek text, given below, is found in Joseph Schirò, ed., Analecta Hymnica Graeca e codicibus eruta Italiae inferioris, vol. i, Canones Septembris (ed. Ada Debiasi Gonzato) (Rome 1966), pp. 154-156.

[Note: Is it not somewhat bizarre that there are two separate Wikipedia articles on this feast, one titled Nativity of Mary and the other Nativity of the Theotokos?]

Πῶς ἐβλάστησας, εἰπέ,
ἐν τῇ γαστρί σου, Ἄννα,
τὴν οὐράνιον
σκηνήν, ἐν ᾗ ὁ Λόγος
«Στεῖρα οὖσα ηὐξάμην
δι’ ἐπαγγελίας
Θεοῦ τεκεῖν μητέρα.»
Say, O Anna, how it was
that in your womb you caused to sprout
the tent celestial,
that tent wherein
the Word encamped.
“Being barren, I made prayer
that, by promise, I might bear
the Mother of God.”
Ὄντως θαῦμα φρικτόν,
τὴν ἐν γαστρὶ ἀφράστως
συλλαβοῦσάν σε
τὸν ποιητὴν τῶν ὅλων,
Ἄννα, τίκτουσαν
ἐξ ἀκάρπων λαγόνων
δι’ ἐπαγγελίας·
«Οὐκ ἔτι μένει στεῖρα.»
Verily a wonder strange:
that she who in her womb conceived
thee unspeakably,
the universe’s Maker,
should now be brought into the world
from the fruitless recesses
of Anna, through the promise that
she should no more be barren.
Ἀνοιγέσθω ὁ ναός,
τὸ ἱερὸν δονείσθω·
τὰ γὰρ ἅγια
τὰ τῶν ἁγίων νῶτα
ὑφαπλοῦντά σοι
Θεοτόκε, ἐν δόξῃ
ὑποδέχονταί σε
ἐν τῷ ἱλαστηρίῳ.
Let the temple open up;
let the sanctuary be shaken.
For the holy things
(the back-parts of the holy),
having spread a way for you,
now receive you, Theotokos,
in glory,
into the mercy seat.
Νῦν ἡ ἄμωμος ἀμνὰς
ἐκ σοῦ γεννᾶται, Ἄννα,
ἡ ἀμίαντος
περιστερὰ καὶ νύμφη
τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν,
παρθένος καὶ μήτηρ
καὶ παστὰς καὶ δούλη
καὶ θρόνος καὶ νεφέλη.
Now the ewe-lamb without spot
is, O Anna, born from you,
the unpolluted
dove and bride
of our God,
at once virgin and a mother,
portico and handmaiden
and throne and cloud.
Ἐμεγάλυνας, Σωτήρ,
Ἰωακεὶμ καὶ Ἄνναν
τοὺς θεόφρονας,
τῆς ἀπαιδίας λύσας
τὴν ἀσθένειαν
καὶ ἐξάρας ἐκ γένους
καὶ ἐξ οἴκου Δαβὶδ
ὄνειδος εἰς αἰῶνας.
Thou hast magnified, O Savior,
Joachim along with Anna,
the godly-minded pair,
having freed them from
infirmity of childlessness,
and having from the race
and house of David
removed reproach forever.
Νῦν εὐφράνθητι Δαβίδ,
ὅτι ἠγέρθη κέρας
σωτηρίας σοι,
ἡ ἐκ φυλῆς καὶ ῥάβδος
ἡ βλαστήσασα
ἐκ κοιλίας τὸ ἄνθος,
Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστόν,
τὸν ζῶντα εἰς αἰῶνας.
Now let David’s heart rejoice,
for in you there has been raised
the horn of our salvation,
the horn from his own tribe, the rod
that budded forth
from her own womb the flower,
Jesus Christ,
the one who lives forever.
Οὐκ ἐκλείψει προειπὼν
ἐκ τοῦ Ἰούδα ἄρχων,
οὐχ ἡγούμενος
ἕως ἂν ἔλθῃ τοῦτο
ὃ ἀπόκειται,
τὸν ἐκ γένους Δαβίδ σε
προδηλῶν Ἰακώβ,
ἐθνῶν τὴν προσδοκίαν.
Jacob showed this long ago
and foretold that there should not
fail a ruler out of Judah
nor someone to lead the way
until that which is set in store
should finally come:
thou, of David’s family,
the Gentiles’ expectation.
Χαῖρε, ὄρος τοῦ Θεοῦ,
χαῖρε, παστὰς ἁγία,
χαῖρε, τράπεζα,
χαῖρε, χρυσῆ λυχνία,
χαῖρε, ἄνανδρε
παιδοτόκε Μαρία,
σέ, ἁγνή, ὑμνοῦμεν
εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας.
Hail, O mountain-peak of God!
Hail, O holy portico!
Hail, O altar!
Hail, O lampstand made of gold!
Hail, Mary, who without a man
did bear a child!
O holy maid, we sing your praise
unto unending ages.

Transfiguration canon

August 6, 2009

The following verses are translated from the fifth canon for the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ. The Greek text is taken from Joseph Schirò, ed., Analecta Hymnica Graeca e codicibus eruta Italiae inferioris, vol. xii, Canones Augusti (ed. Alcestis Proiou) (Rome 1980), pp. 60-62, 68-69. In one of the manuscripts, the poem is ascribed to one “Andrew”; perhaps this is St. Andrew of Crete, the hymnographer.

Ode 1
Δεῦτε συνανέλθωμεν τῷ σωτῆρι
ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος τὸ Θαβὼρ
κἀκεῖ θεασώμεθα
τὸ κάλλος τὸ ἄφραστον
ἐκλάμπον τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ.
Come let us go up with the Savior
upon the Mount of Tabor
and there let us behold
the inexpressible beauty
that shines forth from his face.
Φυρμὸν ἢ ἀνάχυσιν οὐχ ὑπέστης
τῇ ἐξ ἡμῶν οὐσιωθεὶς
μορφῇ, ἀναλλοίωτε,
ἐν ᾗ μεταμορφούμενος
παρέδειξας τὴν δόξαν σου.
Neither blending nor mixture did you suffer
when you took on our reality, assuming the form
that is ours, O changeless one,
in which, being transfigured,
you exhibited your glory.
Τὴν δόξαν μὴ φέροντες τοῦ προσώπου
τοῦ ἀναλάμψαντος ὡς φῶς
πρηνεῖς κατεφέροντο
τῆς πίστεως οἱ πρόβολοι·
Θεὸν γὰρ εἶδεν ὅλως οὐδείς.
When they could not bear the glory of your face
shining like a light, the ones who stood
foremost in faith were brought
to the ground and lay prone:
for no one at all has seen God.*
Τῷ πόθῳ ἑλκόμενος τῆς ἐν ὄρει
θεοφανείας, Ἰησοῦ,
ὁ Πέτρος ἐβόα σοι·
«ποιήσωμεν τρεῖς σκηνάς·
καλὸν γὰρ ᾧδε εἶναι ἡμᾶς.»
Drawn by desire for your
theophany on the mountain, O Christ,
Peter cried to you:
“Let us make three tents;
for it is good for us to be here.”
Ἕνα σε δοξάζομεν τῆς τριάδος,
μονογενῆ υἱὲ Θεοῦ,
κἂν σάρκα προσέλαβες,
καὶ μάρτυς ὁ καλέσας σε
υἱὸν ἀγαπητὸν ἐν Θαβώρ.
We worship you, one of the Trinity,
God’s only-begotten Son,
even if you did take on flesh;
and a witness is he who called you
on Tabor his beloved Son.
Ὡς μέθην τὴν ἔκστασιν ὑποστάντες
οἱ μαθηταὶ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ
ἐπὶ τὸ Θαβώριον,
πρηνεῖς κατεφέροντο·
Θεὸν γὰρ εἶδεν ὅλως οὐδείς.
Experiencing ecstasy like drunkenness,
Jesus’ disciples
upon Tabor’s height
were brought to the ground and
lay prone:
for no one at all has seen God.*
Ode 3
Καταλείψαντες τὸν χοῦν,
συνεπαρθῶμεν τοῖς Χριστοῦ μαθηταῖς
καὶ ἴδωμεν τὴν δόξαν
τῆν θεαθεῖσαν ἐν τῷ ὄρει Θαβώρ.
Leaving the dust behind us
let us go up with Christ’s disciples
and let us see upon Mount Tabor
the glory that deifies.
Τῷ Χριστῷ συγκαλοῦντι
ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος τὸ Θαβώριον,
πιστοί, συναναβάντες,
έκεῖ ὀψόμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ.
Ascending, O faithful, together
with Christ who summons us
to Tabor mountain,
there we shall see his glory.
Οἱ τοῦ ὄντως ἐραστοῦ
ἐπιθυμοῦντες τῆς λαμπρότητος
δεῦτε προσκολληθῶμεν
τοῖς περὶ Πέτρον καὶ Ἰάκωβον.
Those of us who desire
the brilliancy of the truly beloved,
come, let us be joined
with those who are about Peter and James.
Οἱ τὸ κάλλος ἐκεῖνο
ἰδεῖν ποθοῦντες τὸ ἀμήχανον
κτησώμεθα καρδίας,
ἐν αἷς δεξόμεθα τὴν τούτου αὐγήν.
Those of us who long to see
that inexplicable beauty,
let us acquire hearts
in which we shall receive its shining.
Τὸ μὲν ὄρος τὸ Σινᾶ
καπνῷ καὶ γνόφῳ καὶ θυέλλῃ ποτέ,
τὸ ὄρος τὸ Θαβὼρ δὲ
μαρμαρυγὰς ἡμῖν ἀστράπτει φωτός.
Once it was, Mount Sinai was hidden
with smoke and darkness and storm,
but Mount Tabor illuminates us
with bright flashings of light.
Ἐν τῷ ὄρει τῷ Θαβὼρ
μεταμορφούμενος, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός,
παρέδειξας τὴν δόξαν
τοῖς μαθηταῖς τῆς σῆς θεότητος.
When you were transfigured
on Mount Tabor, O Christ God,
you showed to your disciples
the glory of your divinity.
Προσκυνοῦμέν σε, Χριστέ,
σὺν τῷ πατρί σου καὶ τῷ πνεύματι,
τριάδα ἐν μονάδι
καὶ ἐν τριάδι μονάδα, Θεόν.
We worship you, O Christ,
with your Father and the Spirit,
the Trinity in Unity,
and Unity in Trinity, God.
Χαῖρε, νέα κιβωτὲ
τῆς διαθήκης, ἧς διέθετο
Θεὸς μετὰ ἀνθρώπων
τῇ μεσιτείᾳ σου, παρθένε ἁγνή.
Hail, new ark of
the covenant, that covenant
which God made with mankind
by your mediation, O pure Virgin.
Ode 8
Τῆς θεϊκῆς σου μορφῆς
αὔραν ἐξέλαμψας
Πέτρῳ καὶ Ἰακώβῳ
καὶ Ἰωάννῃ, κύριε, ἐν ὄρει τῷ Θαβώρ,
ἧς τὴν ἀκτῖνα μηδόλως
ἐνεγκεῖν ἰσχύσαντες, εἰς γῆν κατεβαροῦντο.
When you had radiated
the aura of your divine form
on Peter, James, and John,
O Lord, upon Mount Tabor,
then, being utterly unable to bear
its ray, they were weighed down to the earth.
Τὸν Μωυσῆν ἐν Θαβὼρ
νόμου τὸν πρόμαχον
συνεκάλεσας, Λόγε,
καὶ προφητῶν τὸ ἄνθος, τὸν Θεσβίτην Ἠλιού,
ὃν πυρὸς ἁρματηλάτην
ὡς εἰς οὐρανοὺς ἀναγαγὼν ἐξῆρας πάλαι.
You called to Tabor Moses,
the champion of the Law, O Word,
and the flower of the prophets,
Elijah the Tishbite,
whom once you took away, leading him
heavenwards, borne in a chariot of fire.
Τὸ ὑπερούσιον φῶς
δεῦτε ὀψόμεθα
καθαρᾷ τῇ καρδίᾳ
μαρμαρυγὰς ἀστράπτον τοῖς θεόπταις μαθηταῖς,
ὅπως καὶ τῆς οὐρανόθεν
πατρικῆς ἀκούσωμεν φωνῆς προσμαρτυρούσης.
O come let us behold
with a pure heart
the supersubstantial light
flashing its shimmerings upon the disciples, who behold God,
so that we too may hear
the fatherly voice from heaven bearing witness.
Ὦ φωτοφόρου αὐγλῆς,
ὦ θείας χάριτος,
ὦ ἀκτῖνος ἡλίου,
ἢν οἱ πηλώδεις εἶδον ἐξαστράπτουσαν αὐτοῖς!
τίς ἂν τὴν δόξαν ἐκείνην
ἐξειπεῖν δυνήσεται βροτῶν ἢ ἑρμηνεῦσαι;
O the lightbearing brilliance!
O the divine grace!
O the beam of the sun
which men of clay beheld flashing out upon them!
Who among mortals shall be able
to describe that glory fully, or interpret it?
Ὦ παναγία τριάς,
ἡ ὁμοούσιος
καὶ ὁμότιμος δόξα,
πάτερ, υἱὲ καὶ πνεῦμα, σὲ δοξάζω καὶ ὑμνῶ
ἕνα Θεὸν ἀσυγχύτως
ἐν τρισὶν ὑμνούμενον προσώποις ἀμερίστως.
O Most Holy Trinity,
glory consubstantial, and
Father, Son, and Spirit, I glorify and hymn you,
one God hymned indivisibly
in three persons.
Ὥσπερ ἐν τόμῳ καινῷ,
ἐν τῇ νηδύι σου
ἐγγραφείς, θεοτόκε,
ὁ σὺν πατρὶ καὶ πνεύματι ὑμνούμενος υἱὸς
ἔδειξεν ἀπαραλλάκτως
καὶ μετὰ τὴν σάρκωσιν τοῦ πατρὸς τὸν χαρακτῆρα.
Inscribed in your womb
as on a new stone tablet,
O Mother of God,
the Son, who is hymned with the Father and the Spirit,
exhibited unchangingly,
even after being made flesh, the character of the Father.

* Or: for no one has seen God entirely.

A prayer of Moses

May 22, 2009

Psalm 90

 תפלה למשׁה אישׁ־האלהים א‍דני מעון אתה היית לנו בדר ודר׃
בטרם ׀ הרים ילדו ותחולל ארץ ותבל ומעולם עד־עולם אתה אל׃
תשׁב אנושׁ עד־דכא ותאמר שׁובו בני־אדם׃
כי אלף שׁנים בעיניך כיום אתמול כי יעבר ואשׁמורה בלילה׃
זרמתם שׁנה יהיו בבקר כחציר יחלף׃
בבקר יציץ וחלף לערב ימולל ויבשׁ׃
כי־כלינו באפך ובחמתך נבהלנו׃
[שׁת כ] (שׁתה ק) עונתינו לנגדך עלמנו למאור פניך׃
כי כל־ימינו פנו בעברתך כלינו שׁנינו כמו־הגה׃
ימי־שׁנותינו בהם שׁבעים שׁנה ואם בגבורת ׀ שׁמונים שׁנה ורהבם עמל ואון כי־גז חישׁ ונעפה׃
מי־יודע עז אפך וכיראתך עברתך׃
למנות ימינו כן הודע ונבא לבב חכמה׃
שׁובה יהוה עד־מתי והנחם על־עבדיך׃
שׂבענו בבקר חסדך ונרננה ונשׂמחה בכל־ימינו׃
שׂמחנו כימות עניתנו שׁנות ראינו רעה׃
יראה אל־עבדיך פעלך והדרך על־בניהם׃
ויהי ׀ נעם אדני אלהינו עלינו ומעשׂה ידינו כוננה עלינו ומעשׂה ידינו כוננהו׃

Προσευχὴ τοῦ Μωυσῆ ἀνθρώπου τοῦ θεοῦ

Κύριε, καταφυγὴ ἐγενήθης ἡμῖν ἐν γενεᾷ καὶ γενεᾷ·
πρὸ τοῦ ὄρη γενηθῆναι
καὶ πλασθῆναι τὴν γῆν καὶ τὴν οἰκουμένην
καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος σὺ εἶ.
μὴ ἀποστρέψης ἄνθρωπον εἰς ταπείνωσιν·
καὶ εἶπας Ἐπιστρέψατε, υἱοὶ ἀνθρώπων.
ὅτι χίλια ἔτη ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς σου
ὡς ἡ ἡμέρα ἡ ἐχθές, ἥτις διῆλθεν,
καὶ φυλακὴ ἐν νυκτί.
τὰ ἐξουδενώματα αὐτῶν ἔτη ἔσονται.
τὸ πρωὶ ὡσεὶ χλόη παρέλθοι,
τὸ πρωὶ ἀνθήσαι καὶ παρέλθοι.
τὸ ἑσπέρας ἀποπέσοι, σκληρυνθείη καὶ ξηρανθείη.
ὅτι ἐξελίπομεν ἐν τῇ ὀργῇ σου
καὶ ἐν τῷ θυμῷ σου ἐταράχθημεν.
ἔθου τὰς ἀνομίας ἡμῶν ἐνώπιόν σου·
ὁ αἰὼν ἡμῶν εἰς φωτισμὸν τοῦ προσώπου σου.
ὅτι πᾶσαι αἱ ἡμέραι ἡμῶν ἐξέλιπον,
καὶ ἐν τῇ ὀργῇ σου ἐξελίπομεν·
τὰ ἔτη ἡμῶν ὡς ἀράχνην ἐμελέτων.
αἱ ἡμέραι τῶν ἐτῶν ἡμῶν, ἐν αὐτοῖς ἑβδομήκοντα ἔτη,
ἐὰν δὲ ἐν δυναστείαις, ὀγδοήκοντα ἔτη,
καὶ τὸ πλεῖον αὐτῶν κόπος καὶ πόνος·
ὅτι ἐπῆλθεν πραΰτης ἐφ᾽ ἡμᾶς, καὶ παιδευθησόμεθα.
τίς γινώσκει τὸ κράτος τῆς ὀργῆς σου
καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου σου τὸν θυμόν σου;
ἐξαριθμήσασθαι τὴν δεξιάν σου οὕτως γνώρισον
καὶ τοὺς πεπεδημένους τῇ καρδίᾳ ἐν σοφίᾳ.
ἐπίστρεψον, κύριε· ἕως πότε;
καὶ παρακλήθητι ἐπὶ τοῖς δούλοις σου.
ἐνεπλήσθημεν τὸ πρωὶ τοῦ ἐλέους σου
καὶ ἠγαλλιασάμεθα καὶ εὐφράνθημεν
ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἡμῶν·
εὐφράνθημεν ἀνθ᾽ ὧν ἡμερῶν ἐταπείνωσας ἡμᾶς,
ἐτῶν, ὧν εἴδομεν κακά.
καὶ ἰδὲ ἐπὶ τοὺς δούλους σου καὶ τὰ ἔργα σου
καὶ ὀδήγησον τοὺς υἱοὺς αὐτῶν,
καὶ ἔστω ἡ λαμπρότης κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν ἐφ᾽ ἡμᾶς,
καὶ τὰ ἔργα τῶν χειρῶν ἡμῶν κατεύθυνον ἐφ᾽ ἡμᾶς.

Oratio Moysi, hominis Dei.

Domine, refugium factus es nobis
A generatione in generationem.
Priusquam montes fierent,
Aut formaretur terra et orbis,
A saeculo et usque in saeculum tu es Deus.
Ne avertas hominem in humilitatem;
Et dixisti: Convertimini, filii hominum.
Quoniam mille anni ante oculos tuos
Tanquam dies hesterna quae praeteriit,
Et custodie in nocte;
Quae pro nihilo habentur eorum anni erunt.
Mane sicut herba transeat;
Mane floreat, et transeat;
Vespere decidat, induret, et arescat.
Quia defecimus in ira tua,
Et in furore tuo turbati sumus.
Posuisti iniquitates nostras in conspectu tuo,
Saeculum nostrum in illuminatione vultus tui.
Quoniam omnes dies nostri defecerunt;
Et in ira tua defecimus.
Anni nostri sicut aranea meditabuntur;
Dies annorum nostrorum in ipsis septuaginta anni.
Si autem in potentatibus octoginta anni,
Et amplius eorum labor et dolor;
Quoniam supervenit mansuetudo, et corripiemur.
Quis novit potestatem irae tuae,
Et prae timore tuo iram tuam dinumerare?
Dexteram tuam sic notam fac,
Et eruditos corde in sapientia.
Convertere, Domine; usquequo?
Et deprecabilis esto super servos tuos.
Repleti sumus mane misericordia tua;
Et exsultavimus, et delectati sumus omnibus diebus nostris.
Laetati sumus pro diebus quibus nos humiliasti,
Annis quibus vidimus mala.
Respice in servos tuos et in opera tua,
Et dirige filios eorum.
Et sit splendor Domini Dei nostri super nos;
Et opera manuum nostrarum dirige super nos,
Et opus manuum nostrarum dirige.

A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Thou turnest man to destruction;
And sayest, Return, ye children of men.
For a thousand years in thy sight
Are but as yesterday when it is past,
And as a watch in the night.
Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep:
In the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up;
In the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
For we are consumed by thine anger,
And by thy wrath are we troubled.
Thou hast set our iniquities before thee,
Our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
For all our days are passed away in thy wrath:
We spend our years as a tale that is told.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten;
And if by reason of strength they be fourscore years,
Yet is their strength labour and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knoweth the power of thine anger?
Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Return, O Lord, how long?
And let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
O satisfy us early with thy mercy;
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us,
And the years wherein we have seen evil.
Let thy work appear unto thy servants,
And thy glory unto their children.
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us:
And establish thou the work of our hands upon us;
Yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.