Giovanni Croce
(c.1557 - 1609)

Croce : Listen O Lord unto my prostrate prayer : illustration

Listen O Lord unto my prostrate prayer
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Croce's Sette sonetti penitentiali were first published in 1597. They arrived in England a decade later as "Musica Sacra: to Six Voyces. Composed in the Italian tongue by GIOVANNI CROCE. Newly Englished. In London Printed by Thomas Este, the assigne of William Barley. 1608."
Lyrics: Psalm 143' paraphrased in sonnet by Francesco Bembo, english'd by R.H.

Listen O Lord unto my prostrate prayer,
Nor into judgement with thy servant enter:
For who is just? The foul infernal tempter
Pursues my soul with terrors of despair.
My heart's all inly vexed, yet I applied me
To weigh thy works, thy wonders I observed,
But to thy mercy the chief place reserved;
Then shew my sin, and in thy service guide me.
Succour me Lord, save me with expedition;
My spirit fainteth: therefore mine affection,
My mind, my soul, I lift (with all submission)
To thee my Lord, my God, and my protection:
Draw me from danger, under thy tuition,
For I thy servant am by thine election.