Psalms & Requiems Translations

"Thou"
by Amelia LeClair (b. 1951)
From The Author to Her Book by Anne Bradstreet

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,  

Who after birth didst by my side remain,  

Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,  

Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,  

Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,  

Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).  

At thy return my blushing was not small,  

My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,  

I cast thee by as one unfit for light,  

Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;  

Yet being mine own, at length affection would  

Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:  

I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,  

And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.  

I stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet,  

Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;  

In better dress to trim thee was my mind,  

But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find. 

 In this array ’mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam. 

 In Criticks hands, beware thou dost not come;  

And take thy way where yet thou art not known,  

If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:  

And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,  

Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door. 

"Requiem"
by Elena Reuhr (b. 1963)
Text by Elena Reuhr

I.

Give to them eternal rest,

And let light shine upon them.

A hymn and a vow shall be paid to them.

Hear my prayer:
All shall come before you.

II.

Oh, have mercy.

Please, have mercy.

Oh, have mercy.

III.

Eternal rest grant unto all:

and let light shine upon all.

They shall be justified in everlasting memory,

and shall not fear evil reports.

Eternal rest grant unto all.

IV.

Forgive the souls of all the faithful departed

from all the chains of their sins

and by the aid to them of our grace

may they deserve to avoid our judgment,

and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

"Psalm 130–

Du fond de l'abîme je t'invoque, Iahvé, Adonaï."
By Lili Boulanger (1893-1918)

Du fond de l'abîme je t'invoque,

Iahvé, Adonaï.

Ecoute ma prière!

Que tes oreilles soient attentives

Aux accents de ma prière!

Si tu prends garde aux péchés,

Qui donc pourra tenir, Iahvé?

Mais la clémence est en toi

Afin qu'on le révère.

Mon âme espère en Iahvé,

J'espère, je compte sur sa parole

Plus que les guetteurs de la nuit

N'aspirent au matin.

J’espère en Iahvé,

Ecoute ma prière

Car en Iahvé est la miséricorde.

Et l'abondance de la délivrance.

C'est lui qui délivrera Israel,

De toutes ses iniquités

En Iahvé est la clémence.

Ah! Iahvé Adonaï,

Je t’invoque, je crie vers toi.

Du fond de l’abîme j’espère en toi

Iahvé, Adonai.

Out of the depths I invoke your name,

Yahweh, Adonai,

Hear my prayer!

That your ears may be attentive

To the sound of my prayer.

If you take heed of our sins,

Who can stand before you, Yahweh?

All mercy is in you,

And thus we revere you.

My soul hopes in Yahweh,

I hope, I count on your word

More than the night watchman

Longs for morning.

I hope in Yahweh,

Hear my prayer

For in Yahweh is mercy

And abundant deliverance.

It is he who will deliver Israel

From all of her iniquities.

In Yahweh is mercy.

Yahweh, Adonai,

I invoke your name, I cry to you,

Out of the depths I hope in you,

Yahweh, Adonai.

~Translation by Amelia LeClair