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Five Prayers for Women's Voices over the Pater Noster as Cantus Firmus

Word count: 326

Song Cycle by Ernst Křenek (1900 - 1991)

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?. Litanie XV

   From being anxious, or secure, 
Dead clods of sadness, or light squibs of mirth, 
   From thinking that great courts immure 
All, or no happiness, or that this earth 
              Is only for our prison framed, 
              Or that Thou'rt covetous 
To them whom Thou lovest, or that they are maim'd 
From reaching this world's sweet who seek Thee thus, 
With all their might, good Lord, deliver us.

?. Litanie XXVII

   That learning, Thine ambassador, 
From Thine allegiance we never tempt ; 
   That beauty, paradise's flower 
For physic made, from poison be exempt ; 
              That wit -- born apt high good to do --  
              By dwelling lazily 
On nature's nothing be not nothing too ; 
That our affections kill us not, nor die ; 
Hear us, weak echoes, O, Thou Ear and Eye.

?. Litanie XX

   Through Thy submitting all, to blows 
Thy face, Thy robes to spoil, Thy fame to scorn, 
   All ways, which rage, or justice knows, 
And by which Thou couldst show that Thou wast born ; 
              And through Thy gallant humbleness 
              Which Thou in death didst show, 
Dying before Thy soul they could express ; 
Deliver us from death, by dying so 
To this world, ere this world do bid us go.

?. Litanie XVI

   From needing danger, to be good, 
From owing Thee yesterday's tears to-day, 
   From trusting so much to Thy blood 
That in that hope we wound our soul away, 
              From bribing Thee with alms, to excuse 
              Some sin more burdenous, 
From light affecting, in religion, news, 
From thinking us all soul, neglecting thus 
Our mutual duties, Lord, deliver us.

?. Litanie XXIII

    Hear us, O hear us Lord; to thee
A sinner is more music, when he prays, 
    Than spheres', or angels' praises be, 
In panegyric alleluias;
        Hear us, for till Thou hear us, Lord 
        We know not what to say; 
Thine ear to our sighs, tears, thoughts, gives voice and word; 
O Thou who Satan heard'st in Job's sick day, 
Hear Thyself now, for Thou in us dost pray.

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