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My soul is a forgotten thing; she sinks,
Sinks and is lost without a wish to rise ; Feels an indifference she abhors, and thinks
Her name erased for ever from the skies.
Language affords not my distress a name,
Yet is it real, and no sickly dream; 'Tis Love inflicts it; though to feel that flame
Is all I know of happiness supreme. When Love departs, a chaos wide and vast,
And dark as Hell is open'd in the soul; When Love returns, the gloomy scene is past,
No tempests shake her, and no fears controul. Then tell me why these ages of delay ?
Oh Love, all excellent, once more appear, Disperse the shades, and snatch me into day,
From this abyss of night, these floods of fear! No-Love is angry, will not now endure
A sigh of mine, or suffer a complaint; He smites me, wounds me, and withholds the cure;
Exhausts my powers, and leaves me sick and faint. He wounds, and hides the hand that gave the blow;
He flies, he reappears, and wounds again ;Was ever heart that loved thee treated so ?
Yet I adore thee, though it seem in vain.
And wilt thou leave me, whom, when lost and blind,
Thou didst distinguish and vouchsafe to choose, Before thy laws were written in my mind,
While yet the world had all my thoughts and views ? Now leave me? when, enamour'd of thy laws,
I make thy glory my supreme delight; Now blot me from thy register, and cause
A faithful soul to perish from thy sight ? What can have caused the change which I deplore ?
Is it to prove me, if my heart be true ? Permit me then, while prostrate I adore,
To draw, and place it's picture in thy view. 'Tis thine without reserve, most simply thine;
So given to thee, that it is not my own; A willing captive of thy grace divine;
And loves, and seeks thee, for Thyself alone.
Pain cannot move it, danger cannot scare;
Pleasure and wealth, in its esteem, are dust; It loves thee, even when least inclined to spare
Its tenderest feelings, and avows thee just. Tis all thine own; my spirit is so too,
An undivided offering at thy shrine; It seeks thy glory with no double view,
Thy glory, with no secret bent to mine. Love, holy Love! and art thou not severe,
To slight me, thus devoted and thus fix'd ? Mine is an everlasting ardour, clear
From all self-bias, generous and unmix'd. 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,
And that I love, seems not to be believed.
Live Thou, and reign for ever, glorious Lord!
My last, least offering, I present thee now ;-
and be still adored ! Slay me, my God, and I applaud the blow.
WATCHING UNTO GOD IN THE NIGHT SEASON.
SLEEP at last has fled these eyes,
Nor do I regret his flight,
And my heart is free and light.
Not a single witness near ;
And the flame of love burns clear.
Interruption, all day long,
Checks the current of my joys ;
And perplex me with their noise.
On the first Eternal Fair ;
Love is renovated there.
Life, with its perpetual stir,
Proves a foe to Love and me;
Comes the night, and sets me free.
Never more, sweet sleep, suspend
My enjoyments, always new :
and hearts subdue,
Hush the world, that I may
wake. To the taste of pure delights ; Oh the pleasures I partake,
God the partner of my nights!
David, for the selfsame cause,
Night preferr’d to busy day: Hearts whom heavenly beauty draws
Wish the glaring sun away. Sleep, self-lovers is for you ;
Souls that love celestial know, Fairer scenes by night can view
Than the sun could ever show.
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,
Nature hush'd in slumber sweet,
God and I can meet:
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, match'd 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, Have a mind and taste ill suited
To their dignity and state;