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And wilt Thou leave me, whom, when lost and blind,
While yet the world had all my thoughts and views?
Now leave me? when, enamoured of Thy laws,
What can have caused the change which I deplore?
Is it to prove me, if my heart be true?
To draw, and place its picture in Thy view.
'Tis Thine without reserve, most simply Thine;
So given to Thee, that it is not my own;
And loves, and seeks Thee, for Thyself alone.
Pain cannot move it, danger cannot scare;
Pleasure and wealth, in its esteem, are dust;
Its tenderest feelings, and avows Thee just.
'Tis all Thine own; my spirit is so too,
An undivided offering at Thy shrine;
Thy glory, with no secret bent to mine.
Love, holy Love! and art Thou not severe,
From all self-bias, generous and unmixed.
But I am silent, seeing what I see,— And fear, with cause, that I am self-deceived;Not even my faith is from suspicion free,
Live Thou, and reign for ever, glorious Lord IMy last, least offering, I present Thee now ;— Renounce me, leave me, and be still adored!Slay me, my God, and I applaud the blow.
LOVE FAITHFUL IN THE ABSENCE OF THE BELOVED.
In vain ye woo me to your harmless joys,
In vain He leaves me, I shall love Him still;
WATCHING UNTO GOD IN THE NIGHT SEASON.
Sleep at last has fled these eyes,
More alert my spirits rise, And my heart is free and light.
Nature silent all around,
God as soon as sought is found,
Interruption, all day long,
Checks the current of my joys;
Creatures press me with a throng,
Undisturbed I muse all night
Nothing there obstructs delight,
Life, with its perpetual stir,
Fresh entanglements occur,— Comes the night, and sets me free. Never more, sweet sleep, suspend
Hush the world, that I may wake
Oh the pleasures I partake,—
David, for the selfsame cause,
Hearts whom heavenly beauty draws
Sleep, self-lovers, is for you;—
Fairer scenes by night can view
ON THE SAME.
Season of my purest pleasure,
Sealer of observing eyes! When, in larger, freer measure,
I can commune with the skies; While, beneath thy shade extended,
Weary man forgets his woes, I, my daily trouble ended,
Find, in watching, my repose.
Silence all around prevailing,
No rude noise mine ears assailing,
Universal nature slumbers, And my soul partakes the calm, Breathes her ardour out in numbers, Plaintive song or lofty psalm.
Now my passion, pure and holy,
Shines and burns without restraint, Which the day's fatigue and folly
Cause to languish, dim and faint: Charming hours of relaxation!
How I dread the ascending sun! Surely idle conversation
Is an evil, matched by none.
Worldly prate and babble hurt me;
I have ears for none but Love.
Hearing my absurd replies; I have neither art's fine polish
Nor the knowledge of the wise.
Simple souls, and unpolluted
By conversing with the great,
To their dignity and state;
Are but talents misapplied;
Nothing human chuse beside.
'Tis the secret fear of sinning Checks my tongue, or I should say,
When I see the night beginning,
Night ! how I love thy silent shades,
My spirits they compose;
In spite of all my woes.
While sleep instils her poppy dews
In every slumbering eye,
In blest tranquillity.
And when I feel a God immense
His favour to my heart;
My native meanness 1 lament,
Though most divinely filled With all the ineffable content
That Deity can yield.
His purpose and His course he keeps;
Treads all my reasonings down; Commands me out of nature's deeps,
And hides me in His own.
When in the dust, its proper place,
Love this gentle admonition
Whispers soft within my breast;
"Choice befits not thy condition, "Acquiescence suits thee best."
Henceforth, the repose and pleasure
Night affords me I resign;
Wisdom Infinite! of mine:
Quarrelling with Thy decrees; Wayward nature finds the occasion,—
'Tis her folly and disease.
Night, with its sublime enjoyments,
Now no longer will I chuse;
Irksome as they seem, refuse:
Neither time nor place impedes; From our wishing and desiring
Our unhappiness proceeds.
'Tis then a deluge of His grace
Thou whom I serve, and whose I am,
Refines, and still refines my flame,
How wretched is the creature's state
Crushed under sin's enormous weight, Increasing every hour!
The night, when passed entire with Thee
How luminous and clear;
Lest Thou shouldst disappear.
My Saviour! occupy me still
In this secure recess;
My joy shall not be less:
Let reason slumber out the night;
But if Thou deign to make
Ah, keep my heart awake!
THE JOY OF THE CROSS.
Long plunged in sorrow, I resign
Without reserve or fear;
Transform the falling tear.
My sole possession is Thy love;
I have no other store;
I ask Thee nothing more.
My rapid hours pursue the course Prescribed them by love's sweetest force;
And I Thy sovereign will, Without a wish to escape my doom; Though still a sufferer from the womb,
And doomed to suffer still.
By Thy command, where'er I stray,
A never-failing friend;
Let sorrow still attend!
It costs me no regret, that she,
Who followed Christ, should follow me;
And though, where'er she goes, Thorns spring spontaneous at her feet, I love her, and extract a sweet
From all my bitter woes.
Adieu, ye vain delights of earth!
I taste no sweets in you;
And Jesus thought so too.
The Cross! oh, ravishment and bliss,—
Its bitterness how sweet!
Tastes happiness complete.
Souls once enabled to disdain
Their dignity secure;
Is delicate and pure.
Self-love no grace in sorrow sees,
'Tis all the bliss she knows:
In suffering her repose.
Sorrow and Love go side by side:
Their heaven-appointed bands;
Jesus, avenger of our fall,
The Cross hast ever borne!
And sloth and ease Thy scorn!
Thy choice and mine shall be the same,
Which must for ever blaze!
My portion and my praise.
JOY IN MARTYRDOM.
Sweet tenants of this grove, These echoing shades return
Who sing, without design, Full many a note of ours,
A song of artless love, That wise ones cannot learn
In unison with mine: With all their boasted powers.
Source of Love, my brighter Sun,
See, my race is almost run;Hast Thou left this trembling heart?
In my youth Thy charming eyes
Then I drank unmingled joys;
Spouse of Christ was then my name;
And devoted all to Thee, Strangely jealous, I became
Jealous of this self in me.
Thee to love, and none beside,
While alternately I died, Now of grief, and now of joy.
Through the dark and silent night
And to see the dawning light
Thou my gracious teacher wert;And Thine eye, so close applied,
Conscious of no evil drift,
This, I cried, is love indeed!—
'Tis the Giver, not the gift, Whence the joys I feel proceed.
But soon humbled, and laid low,
Nothing left but sin and woe,