Translation © by David Wyatt

Lectio Prima
Language: Latin 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Parce mihi Domine : nihil enim sunt dies mei.
Quid est homo, quia magnificas eum?
aut quid opponis erga cor tuum?
Visitas eum dilucolo, 
et subito probas illum.
Usquequo non parcis mihi, 
nec dimittis me, ut glutiam salivam meam?
Peccavi, quid faciam tibi, o custos hominum?
Quare posuisti me contrarium tibi, 
et factus sum mihimet ipsi gravis?
Cur non tollis peccatum meum, 
et quare non auferes iniquitatem meam?
Ecce nunc in pulvere dormiam; 
et si mane me quaesieris, non subsistam.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Première lecture", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (David Wyatt) , title 1: "First lesson", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2010-04-05
Line count: 14
Word count: 80

First lesson
Language: English  after the Latin 
Spare me Lord: for my days are nothing.
What is man, that you magnify him? 
And why do you set him next to your heart?
You visit him every morning, 
and test him every moment.
To what great extent will you spare me, 
and not send me away, that I should swallow my spit?
I have sinned; what shall I do for you, o guardian of men?
Why have you placed me opposite you; 
and why am I made a heavy burden to myself?
Why do you not remove my sin, 
and take away my iniquity? 
Look, I shall sleep in the dust; 
and if you seek me in the morning, I will not be alive.


  • Translation from Latin to English copyright © 2012 by David Wyatt, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2012-05-18
Line count: 14
Word count: 116