Psalm 121: A Translation and Poetic Response

OK, this is playing around. The first is a translation with some freedom, but with an effort to convey just a little bit of the rhythm of the Hebrew. It needs some more work. The second is just me having some fun with rhyme and meter, a practice I can always use.

I look up to the mountains,
Where can I find help?
My help comes from Yahweh,
The maker of heaven and earth.

He won’t let your foot slip.
Your guardian won’t sleep.

Not sleeping,
Not slumbering,
Israel’s keeper.

Yahweh is your guardian.
Yahweh is your shelter.
Right there with you.

By day the sun does no harm,
Nor the moon at night.
Yahweh keeps you from all injury.
He preserves your life.

Yahweh watches when you go out or come in,
Today, and every day hereafter.


And now the response:I gaze as mountains bar my way,
With pinnacle and rock and peak.
I ask myself whose help I seek.
Whence guidance comes I can obey.

To God I look when fears assail,
From right or left, by day or night.
When arrows fly from left or right,
My shield’s my Lord he will prevail.

No matter when I fear not sleep,
My Lord protects and guards my life.
Mid toil and trial, stroke or strife,
He stays awake, my guard to keep.

If battle call the trump should sound,
He watches every step I take.
And if a misstep I should make,
He puts my foot on solid ground.

He is my guard, he’s ever near,
So never danger must I fear.