‘Twas mine own hand that signed the sin
and wrote rebellion firm;
and etched my ink upon the sheet
of parchment in my pain—
words that still reverberate
deep inside my soul
and make me bow my head in shame.
But once I knew the water-lands of bliss
the English morning downs, and curtain banks
of mist that cheered my heart to prayers of thanks:
a piece of heaven now so dearly missed.
Inebriated in my fears
a reeling sea, unfirm,
I etched into the castle wall
desertion—and my pain,
till coaxed by satin hands and silk
and honey-sweetened lies
I ran to ink and wrote my shame.
Almighty God, the Father of our Lord,
desiring not the death of sinners here
incline Thine heart and open wide Thine ear
and stain with blood the hands that stained Thy word.
‘Tis here: the crowd to hear my sin:
the Church’s will made firm
and etched by papish hands, my heart
is bowed—so deep in pain!
My wavery words reverberate
but strange—my heart is firm
that here—at last!—I end my shame.
“From all my traitorous falseness now I turn,
and this unworthy hand that feared its death
this unworthy hand that valued breath
beyond its Lord will be the first to burn.”
‘Twas Thine own hand that took my sins
and my rebellion firm
and etched in blood upon Thy cross
desertion and Thy pain.
And still Thy words reverberate
deep inside my soul:
Thou has died to take away my shame.