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The Wonderful World of Tone!

Definition: Expressing mourning or grief

 "For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave.  I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength.  I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care. 
     You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths.  Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.  You have taken from me my closest friends and made me repulsive to them.  I am confined and cannot escape; my eyes are dim with grief.
     I call to you, O Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you.  Do you show your wonders to the dead?  Do those who are dead rise up and praise you?  Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction?  Are your wonders know in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
     But I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.  Why, O Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?
     From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death; I have suffered your terrors and am in despair.  Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me.  All day they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me.  You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend."
~Psalm 88:3-18

     The tone of this Psalm is undeniably lamentable.  The author, who is a son of Korah (a rebel against Moses' leadership), is very distraught.  He is grieving of his sufferings, his alienation from his closest friends, and his feelings of rejection from God.  Similes such as "I am like a man without strength"  and "all day [Your terrors] surround me like a flood" illustrate the author's feelings of despair.  The author repeatedly pleads "I cry to you for help, O Lord.. why, O Lord, do you reject me?", searching for solace.  "The darkness is my closest friend" is the author's utter and final lament.


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