When first I bruised my flesh for Christ, I was a youth of but eighteen
Whose tender virgin years I gave to God; my time to consecrate
In prayer and meditation, upon what the angels might have seen
Had Adam never come to sin
And been expelled from fair Eden
And spawned upon us all these worldly woes – such is our present state.
With chains, and fasts, and penances full long I battled deadly lust
Confessing every evil thought; imaginings which would seduce
My will, and undermine my resolution: so but Christ I trust.
Thus mortifying sinful flesh
Escaping each ensnaring mesh
I battle even unto death. With sin to hold no truck nor truce.
My weakly body clothed in vile rags, I built this columned stone
And chained myself upon its top. To worldly cares now deaf and dumb.
I contemplate the holy will that speaks as though to me alone
The sun that burns me for my sin
Until the starlight chills within.
Yet still my will holds strongly to your truth: I seek the world to come.
I have no peace. Some pilgrims seek me out to speak and calm their fears.
You want your healing? Yea – be healed. And then I return to my prayer.
Ignoring those below me that upon their knees bless me with tears.
For Christ alone, His blood suffice.
I burn, I die. Life sacrifice.
Lord free me from this tomb of flesh – O Christ, up in Your arms me bear!