Lock-Down Poetry: From David’s Crown

A Contribution to our poetry series on the Sarum College Blog, by Malcolm Guite


Malcolm Guite is a priest and poet, and a life fellow of Girton in College in Cambridge. His poetry books include Sounding the Seasons (Canterbury Press 2012) and After Prayer (Canterbury Press 2019) David’s Crown: Sounding the Psalms will be published in February 2021

A note from Malcolm: ‘The following two poems are from a longer sequence I have been working on in lockdown called ‘David’s Crown’ a sequence of poetic reflections on reading and praying the psalms through this crisis.’


XXX Exaltabo te, Domine


He gives us too, a voice to sing his praises,
So much the more because we were brought low
That we might know we have a God who raises

Up the lowly. Our old riches made us slow
To love you, slow to turn to you in praise
But sudden loss and crisis made us know

Our true dependence on your love. Our days
Of false security are gone, we fell
Into a pit of our own making. Raise

Us up again, each out of our own hell
And give us oil for ashes, joy for mourning
Restore us in your love and we will tell

Of how through our long night we heard your warning
And heeded you, and found your love again
How night withdrew and joy came in the morning.


XXXI In te, Domine, speravi


The night withdrew and joy came in the morning,
When I remembered that I was remembered,
That even through the bitter tears of mourning

I was sustained, the darkest powers were hindered
In their insidious work within my soul
And I was held together and re-membered

By your unceasing love. You made me whole
When all the world was tearing me apart.
When there was fear on every side, you stole

Into the secret garden of my heart
A good thief in the night, and hid with me
In your strong tabernacle, held apart

From all that strife of tongues, cacophony
Of condemnations, so you kept me safe
In your deep silence and your mystery.


Read the Sarum Blog to keep up to date with our poetry selection. Malcolm’s blog is also available here.

Please leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *