A Prayer from Babel

Set forth thy true and lively word, O Lord,
Amidst this false and deadly earthen tongue
With which we are surrounded. For a horde
Of men with senseless syllables comes among
Us, trampling down thy truth, to build a tower
From which they think to wield confusion’s power.

Send out thy tuneful sound to earth again,
And unconfound her mad disharmony;
For in our dissonant cities is the din
Of their equivocal cacophony.
The clamorous clatter of Babel’s bricks destroys
All concord with its furious frenzied noise.

Rise up, O Lord, and let thine enemies
Be set asunder, who on shifting sand
Raise up a heap of babbling blasphemies,
Insensible that falsehood cannot stand.
Let winds of truth demolish in an hour
Their monstrous monument to human power.

Send out thy light; let darkness comprehend
The flame of truth which they would snuff with lies.
Creator, bring this chaos to an end;
These clanging cymbals silence; harmonize
Earth’s noise. From stones of Babel’s devastation,
Construct the city of thy new creation.

Raise up thy Spirit’s power, and come among
Us. Let our incense rise from these remains.
Disperse us not with those of crooked tongue
Who name their evil Good as goodness wanes.
Our language purify, our tongues inspire;
And then, with heaven’s wind, light earth’s new fire.

Cynthia Erlandson

Cynthia Erlandson has had poetry published in First Things, Modern Age, Anglican Theological Review, Touchstone, The Book of Common Praise (Reformed Episcopal Church Hymnal), and Forward in Christ. Her first book, a collection of poems for the Church year called These Holy Mysteries, is available on Amazon. The incarnation of the spiritual in the physical -- the gift of being able to know our Creator through His creation because we are made in His image -- is an important theme to her. As a Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist, she helps people with the physical side of life.

'A Prayer from Babel' has 1 comment

  1. September 24, 2019 @ 9:29 am Fran Craig

    Beautiful and powerful. Expresses what I’ve been thinking as well. Thank you!


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