Ripped in two by self, desire (After Ann Griffiths’ “Since I am corruptly fallen”)

Another of 18th-century Welsh poet Ann Griffiths’ beautiful prayers is the powerful “Since I am corruptly fallen”, an expression both of the intensity of human sin and the glory of God’s grace. I’ve included the original poem, as translated by A.Z. Foreman, at the end of this post. In my own poem, I have tried to work with similar ideas to Griffiths and have used the same rhyming scheme and rhythm found both in Foreman’s translation and in the original Welsh. Happy reading!
 
Ripped in two by self, desire (After “Since I am corruptly fallen”)
 
Ripped in two by self, desire,
Torn and smeared from world and sin,
Broken, though your image-bearer,
Tarnishing your everything:
Here I stand, expectant, waiting,
Here I’ll see your glory rise,
Lifting up my sin-scarred body
To your gracious, saving skies.
 
When I rise, I’ll not be beaten
By the goads and spurs of death;
You will catch the little foxes
And restore love’s fainting breath.
In your garden, walled from all foes,
Love will cleanse and sparkle bright;
Now I wait the dawn of heaven
When my faith shall be made sight.
 
Since I am corruptly fallen – Ann Griffiths (trans. A.Z. Foreman)
 
Since I am corruptly fallen,
Straying from you constantly,
To ascend your sacred mountain
Is the right of rights for me.
There on high your veils are riven,
Every cover nullified,
There above all worldly nothings
Is your glory magnified.
 
Oh to drink on high forever
Where redemption’s waters flow,
Drink until I thirst no longer
For the fading world below,
Live in wait for my Lord’s coming,
Wakeful for the coming night
When I swiftly open to him
In his image, in his sight.

6 thoughts on “Ripped in two by self, desire (After Ann Griffiths’ “Since I am corruptly fallen”)

  1. You’ve entered into her poem and mirrored it so well. Please keep writing these! And as you are now the resident Ann Griffiths expert, can you tell me where to find some more translations such as this? 🙂

    1. Well yes…ahem…I do know rather a lot about Ann Griffiths now. Actually, it’s quite hard to find her work in translation. As evidence of this, Google her work and you will find each of our blogs appear as results. (Google “I Saw Him Standing Ann Griffiths” and you’re the top hit, followed by me!) But some sites that include poems of hers are:
      http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/G/GriffithsAnn/Hislefthinhe.htm
      http://www.anngriffiths.cardiff.ac.uk/hymns.html (This one has an extensive selection of her hymns – but I think you might have got me onto this site.)
      The only option I can think of is that one of us learns Welsh and translates the rest of her work to make it available to the world!

  2. This is really beautiful. I will save it in a special e-mail file of favorite poems so that I can read it often. I have also bookmarked it on my computer. Thank you for sharing it.

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