Night Litany

O Dieu, purifiez nos coeurs!
Purifiez nos coeurs !

Yea the lines hast thou laid unto me
in pleasant places,
And the beauty of this thy Venice
hast thou shown unto me
Until its loveliness become unto me
a thing of tears.

O God, what great kindness
have we done in times past
and forgotten it,
That thou givest this wonder unto us,
O God of waters?

O God of the night,
What great sorrow
Cometh unto us,
That thou thus repayest us
Before the time of its coming?

O God of silence,
Purifiez nos cœurs,
Purifiez nos cœurs,
For we have seen
The glory of the shadow of the
likeness of thine handmaid,

Yea, the glory of the shadow
of thy Beauty hath walked
Upon the shadow of the waters
In this thy Venice.
And before the holiness
Of the shadow of thy handmaid
Have I hidden mine eyes,
O God of waters.

O God of silence,
Purifiez nos cœurs,
Purifiez nos cœurs,
O God of waters,
make clean our hearts within us,
For I have seen the
Shadow of this thy Venice
Floating upon the waters,
And thy stars

Have seen this thing, out of their far courses
Have they seen this thing,
O God of waters,
Even as are thy stars
Silent unto us in their far-coursing,
Even so is mine heart
become silent within me.

Purifiez nos cœurs,
O God of the silence,
Purifiez nos cœurs,
O God of waters.

____________________

Poem:  Ezra Pound

Photographs:  Jason Francisco, Venice, January 2017