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Ye unbelieving! learn a wiser part,
Distrust your erring sense, and search your heart
There soon ye shall perceive a kindling flame
Glow for that infant God, from whom it came;
Resist not, quench not, that divine desire,
Melt all your adamant in heavenly fire!
Not so will I requite thee, gentle Love!
Yielding and soft this heart shall ever prove;
And every heart beneath thy power should fall,
Glad to submit, could mine contain them all.
But I am poor, oblation I have none,
None for a Saviour, but himself alone:
Whate'er I render thee, from thee it came:
And, if I give my body to the flame,
My patience, love, and energy divine
Of heart, and soul, and spirit, all are thine.
Ah, vain attempt to expunge the mighty score!
The more I pay, I owe thee still the more.
Upon my meanness, poverty, and guilt,
The trophy of thy glory shall be built;
My self-disdain shall be the unshaken base,
And my deformity its fairest grace;
For destitute of good, and rich in ill,
Must be my state and my description still.
And do I grieve at such an humbling lot?
Nay, but I cherish and enjoy the thought—
Vain pageantry and pomp of earth, adieu!
I have no wish, no memory for you;
The more I feel my misery, I adore
The sacred inmate of my soul the more;
Rich in his love, I feel my noblest pride
Spring from the sense of having nought beside.
In Thee I find wealth, comfort, virtue, might;
My wanderings prove thy wisdom infinite;
All that I have I give thee; and then see
All contrarieties unite in thee;
For thou hast join'd them, taking up our woe,
And pouring out thy bliss on worms below,
By filling with thy grace and love divine
A gulf of evil in this heart of mine.
This is, indeed, to bid the valleys rise,
And the hills sink—'tis matching earth and skies;
I feel my weakness, thank thee, and deplore
An aching heart, that throbs to thank thee more;
The more I love thee, I the more reprove
A soul so lifeless, and so slow to love;
Till, on a deluge of thy mercy toss'd,
I plunge into that sea, and there am lost.
GOD NEITHER KNOWN NOR LOVED BY
Ye linnets, let us try, beneath this grove,
Which shall be loudest in our Maker's praise!
In quest of some forlorn retreat I rove,
For all the world is blind, and wanders from his
That God alone should prop the sinking soul,
Fills them with rage against his empire now:
I traverse earth in vain from pole to pole,
To seek one simple heart, set free from all below.
They speak of love, yet little feel its sway,
While in their bosoms many an idol lurks;
Their base desires, well satisfied, obey,
Leave the Creator's hand, and lean upon his works.
'Tis therefore I can dwell with man no more;
Your fellowship, ye warblers! suits me best:
Pure love has lost its price, though prized of yore,
Profaned by modern tongues, and slighted as a jest.
My God, who form'd you for his praise alone,
Beholds his purpose well fulfill'd in you;
Come, let us join the choir before his throne,
Partaking in his praise with spirits just and true!
Yes, I will always love; and, as I ought,
Tune to the praise of love my ceaseless voice;
Preferring love too vast for human thought,
In spite of erring men, who cavil at my choice.
Why have I not a thousand thousand hearts,
Lord of my soul! that they might all be thine?
If thou approve—the zeal thy smile imparts,
How should it ever fail! can such a fire decline?
Love, pure and holy, is a deathless fire;
Its object heavenly, it must ever blaze:
Eternal love a God must needs inspire, [praise.
When once he wins the heart, and fits it for his
Self-love dismiss'd—'tis then we live indeed—
In her embrace, death, only death is found:
Come, then, one noble effort, and succeed, [bound!
Cast off the chain of self with which thy soul is
Oh! I could cry, that all the world might hear,
Ye self-tormentors, love your God alone:
Let his unequal'd excellence be dear, [own!
Dear to your inmost souls, and make him all your
They hear me not—alas! how fond to rove In endless chase of folly's specious lure!
JTis here alone, beneath this shady grove, I taste the sweets of truth—here only am secure.
I Am fond of the swallow—Ilearn from her flight,
Had I skill to improve it, a lesson of love:
How seldom on earth do we see her alight!
She dwells in the skies, she is ever above.
It is on the wing that she takes her repose,
Suspended and poised in the regions of air,
'Tis not in our fields that her sustenance grows,
It is wing'd like herself, 'tis ethereal fare.
She comes in the spring, all the summer she stays,
And, dreading the cold, still follows the sun—
So, true to our Love, we should covet his rays,
And the place where he shines not, immediately
Our light should be love, and our nourishment prayer;
It is dangerous food that we find upon earth;
The fruit of this world is beset with a snare,
In itself it is hurtful, as vile in its birth.
'Tis rarely, if ever, she settles below,
And only when building a nest for her young;
Were it not for her brood, she would never bestow
A thought upon any thing filthy as dung.
Let us leave it ourselves ('tis a mortal abode),
To bask every moment in infinite Love;
Let us fly the dark winter, and follow the road
That leads to the dayspring appearing above.
THE TRIUMPH OF HEAVENLY LOVE DESIRED.
Ah! reign, wherever man is found, My spouse, beloved and divine!
Then I am rich, and I abound, When every human heart is thine.
A thousand sorrows pierce my soul,
To think that all are not thine own:
Ah! be adored from pole to pole;Where is thy zeal? arise; be known!
All hearts are cold, in every place, Yet earthly good with warmth pursue;
Dissolve them with a flash of grace,
Thaw these of ice, and give us new!