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All their talking, reading, writing,
Are but talents misapplied;
Infants' prattle I delight in,
Nothing human choose beside.
'Tis the secret fear of sinning
Checks my tongue, or I should say,
When I see the night beginning,
I am glad of parting day:
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;
And thy will shall be the measure,
Wisdom infinite! of mine:
Wishing is but Inclination
Quarreling with thy decrees; Wayward nature finds the occasion,
'Tis her folly and disease.
Night, with its sublime enjoyments,
Now no longer will I choose;
Nor the day, with its employments,
Irksome as they seem, refuse;
Lessons of a God's inspiring
Neither time nor place impedes;
From our wishing and desiring
Our unhappiness proceeds.
NIGHT! how I love thy silent shades,
My spirits they compose;
The bliss of heaven my soul pervades,
In spite of all my woes.
While sleep instils her poppy dews
In every slumbering eye,
I watch, to meditate and muse,
In blest tranquillity.
And when I feel a God immense
With every proof he can dispense,
His favour to my heart;
My native meanness I lament,
Though most divinely fill'd
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,
Our pride of heart we lay,
"Tis then a deluge of his grace
Bears all our sins away.
Thou whom I serve, and whose I am,
Whose influence from on high
Refines, and still refines my flame,
And makes my fetters fly;
How wretched is the creature's state
Who thwarts thy gracious power;
Crush'd under sin's enormous weight,
Increasing every hour!
The night, when pass'd entire with thee,
How luminous and clear!
Then sleep has no delights for me,
Lest thou shouldst disappear.
My Saviour! occupy me still
In this secure recess;
Let Reason slumber if she will,
My joy shall not be less:
Let Reason slumber out the night;
But if thou deign to make My soul the abode of Truth and Light, Ah, keep my heart awake!
THE JOY OF THE CROSS.
LONG plunged in sorrow, I resign
My soul to that dear hand of thine,
Without reserve or fear;
That hand shall wipe my streaming eyes,
Or into smiles of glad surprise
Transform the falling tear.
My sole possession is thy love;
In earth beneath, or heaven above,
I have no other store;
And though with fervent suit I
And importune thee night and day,
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 doom'd to suffer still.
By thy command, where'er I stray,
Sorrow attends me all my way,
A never failing friend;
And if my sufferings may augment
Thy praise, behold me well content,-
Let Sorrow still attend!
It costs me no regret, that she,
Who follow'd 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;
Insipid sports, and childish mirth,
I taste no sweets in you;
Unknown delights are in the Cross,
All joy beside to me is dross;
And Jesus thought so too.
The Cross! Oh ravishment and bliss,-
How grateful even its anguish is,
Its bitterness how sweet!
There every sense, and all the mind,
In all her faculties refined,
Tastes happiness complete.
Souls once enabled to disdain
Base sublunary joys, maintain
Their dignity secure;
The fever of desire is pass'd,
And love has all its genuine taste,
Is delicate and pure.
Self-love no grace in sorrow sees,
Consults her own peculiar ease;
'Tis all the bliss she knows:
But nobler aims true Love employ;
In self-denial is her joy,
In suffering her repose.
Sorrow and Love go side by side;
Nor height nor depth can e'er divide
Their heaven-appointed bands;
Those dear associates still are one,
Nor till the race of life is run
Disjoin their wedded hands.
Jesus, avenger of our fall,
Thou faithful lover, above all
The Cross has ever borne !
Oh tell me,-life is in thy voice,-
How much afflictions were thy choice,
And sloth and ease thy scorn!