O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee : O let my prayer enter into thy presence, incline thy ear unto my calling.
For my soul is full of trouble : and my life draweth nigh unto hell.
I am counted as one of them that go down into the pit : and I have been even as a man that hath no strength.
Free among the dead, like unto them that are wounded, and lie in the grave : who are out of remembrance, and are cut away from thy hand.
Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit : in a place of darkness, and in the deep.
Thine indignation lieth hard upon me : and thou hast vexed me with all thy storms.
Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me : and made me to be abhorred of them.
I am so fast in prison : that I cannot get forth.
My sight faileth for very trouble : Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched forth my hands unto thee.
Dost thou shew wonders among the dead : or shall the dead rise up again, and praise thee?
Shall thy loving-kindness be shewed in the grave : or they faithfulness in destruction?
Shall thy wondrous works be known in the dark : and thy righteousness in the land where all things are forgotten?
Unto thee have I cried, O Lord : and early shall my prayer come before thee.
Lord, why abhorreth thou my soul : and hidest thou thy face from me?
I am in misery, and like unto him that is at the point to die : even from my youth up thy terrors have I suffered with a troubled mind.
Thy wrathful displeasure goeth over me : and the fear of thee hath undone me.
They came round about me daily like water : and compassed me together on every side.
My lovers and friends hast thou put away from me : and hid mine acquaintance out of my sight.
- Psalm 88
Many oxen are come about me : fat bulls of Bashan close me in on every side.
They gape upon me with their mouths : as it were a ramping and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint : my heart also in the midst of my body is even like melting wax.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my gums : and thou shalt bring me into the dust of death.
For many dogs are come about me : and the council of the wicked layeth siege against me.
They pierced my hands and my feet; I may tell all my bones : they stand staring and looking upon me.
They part my garments among them : and cast lots upon my vesture.
But be not thou far from me, O Lord : thou art my succour, haste thee to help me.
Deliver my soul from the sword : my darling from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth : thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns.
- Psalm 22: 12-21
Geoffrey Chaucer is said to have recited his Tales of Caunterbury in the court of Richard II on this date in 1397. And that Aprille day of which he wrote, whose shoures soote hath pierced Marche’s droghte to the roote, has also, incidentally, been set by scholars as April 17 of 1387! But here, let the Father of English Literature say it is his own words:
WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
Issued on: October 29, 1976
From: London, England
Issued on: December 31, 2000
From: Roseau, Dominica
Stamps on bottom:
Issued in: 1990
From: Kingstown, St. Vincent