For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
The faces of his friends, if there
Might be some opening, or prayer.
“O, I discern the hand of God,
My friends, I grant no other rod
The slightest countenance. What I
Deny is not that God on high
Makes winds to blow and lightning strike,
But that he rules as you might like.
I do not know why I lie here
And you sit there. But I am clear
It is not that I’ve sinned and you
are clean. Your maxims, be they few
Or thousands, will not stand before
The bar of God. O that some door
Were opened to the court of God,
And I might make my case unflawed
Before the Judge of all the world,
And prove this storm has not been hurled
Against me or my children there
Because of hidden crimes. O spare
Me now, my friends, your packages
Of God, your simple adages:
“Be good and strong, but weak when wrong.”
They make good rote and clever song,
But do not hold the wisdom of
Our God. A whisper from above
Is all I have. Yet from it I
Have learned through horrid nights that my
Redeemer lives, and when my skin
Has been destroyed, then from within
Shall I behold him on my side,
And I will live though I have died.”