Behold me at Thy feet again, O Lord!Humbly to kneel, -- how can I dare to pray,
Or thank Thee for this grace Thou dost accord?
I can but wonder that Thou dost not slay.
My weight of infamy doth press me down,
The load of guilt that I can bear no more;
Prostrate in bitter shame before Thy frown,
I can but murmur low: Confiteor!
Black is the record of the rebel soul
That openly contemns Thy law divine,
Proclaiming earthly joy its only goal
Throughout this life. But blacker still is mine;
For unto me the Tree of Life was shown,
And I have lived amid the fruits it bore;
The Treasure of Thy temple I have known
Thankless, indifferent, -- Confiteor!
In deepest shame bowed down before Thy Face,
The wretch to whom Thy mercy still allows
The gift of life and many a greater grace,
Recalls the treachery, the broken vows.
My presence doth Thy temple but defile,--
How shall the traitor knock upon Thy door?
Basely, unworthy, vilest of the vile;
Confiteor, O Lord, -- Confiteor!
B. O'B. C.
Source: The Ave Maria, August 26, 1905.