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Dear Lord, forgive my rash complaint,
And love me still
Against my froward will;
On glories infinitely bright,
LOVE TO CHRIST,
PRESENT OR ABSENT.
Of all the joys we mortals know,
Jesus, thy love exceeds the rest ; Love, the best blessing here below,
And nearest image of the bless'd.
Sweet are my thoughts, and soft my cares,
When the celestial flame I feel; In all my hopes, and all my fears,
There's something kind and pleasing still,
While I am held in his embrace
There's not a thought attempts to rove:
He speaks, and straight immortal joys
Run through my ears, and reach my heart; My soul all melts at that dear voice,
And pleasure shoots through every part.
If he withdraw a moment's space,
He leaves a sacred pledge behind;. Here in this breast his image stays,
The grief and comfort of my mind.
While of his absence I complain,
And long, and weep, as lovers do; There's a strange pleasure in the pain,
And tears have their own sweetness too.
When round his courts by day I rove,
Or ask the watchmen of the night For some kind tidings of my love,
His very name creates delight.
Jesus, my God! yet rather come;
Mine eyes would dwell upon thy face; 'Tis best to see my Lord at home,
And feel the presence of his grace.
THE ABSENCE OF CHRIST.
COME, lead me to some lofty shade
Where turtles moan their loves ;
And grief becomes the groves.
'Tis no mean beauty of the ground
That hath enslav'd mine eyes; I faint beneath a nobler wound,
Nor love below the skies.
Jesus, the spring of all that's bright,
The Everlasting Fair, Heaven's Ornament, and Heaven's Delight,
Is my Eternal Care.
But, ah! how far above this grove
Does this bright Charmer dwell? Absence, thou keenest wound to love,
That sharpest pain, I feel.
Pensive I climb the sacred hills,
And near him vent my woes;
Yet still my passion grows.
I murmur to the hollow vale,
I tell the rocks my flame, And bless the echo in her cell
That best repeats his name.
My passion breathes perpetual sighs,
Till pitying winds shall hear,
And gently wound his ear.
DESIRING HIS DESCENT TO EARTH.
Jesus, I love. Come, dearest name,
Come and possess this heart of mine ; I love, though 'tis a fainter flame,
And infinitely less than thine.
0! if my Lord would leave the skies,
Dress'd in the rays of mildest grace; My soul should hasten to my eyes
To meet the pleasures of his face.
How would I feast on all his charms,
Then round his lovely feet entwine ! Worship and love, in all their forms,
Should honour beauty so divine.
In vain the tempter's flattering tongue,
The world in vain shall bid me move, In vain; for I should gaze so long
Till I were all transform'd to love.
Then, mighty God! I'd sing and say,
• What empty names are crowns and kings! Amongst them give these worlds away,
These little despicable things.'
I would not ask to climb the sky,
Nor envy angels their abode ;
In the bless'd vision of my God.
ASCENDING TO HIM IN HEAVEN.
'Tis pure delight, without alloy,
Jesus, to hear thy name ;
I feel the sacred flame.
My passions hold a pleasing reign,
While love inspires my breast; Love, the divinest of the train,
The Sovereign of the rest.
This is the grace must live and sing,
When faith and fear shall cease, Must sound from every joyful string
Through the sweet groves of bliss.
Let life immortal seize my clay;
Let love refine my blood;
Swift I ascend the heavenly place,
And hasten to my home,
I come, O Lord! I come.
Sink down, ye separating hills,
Let guilt and death remove, 'Tis love that drives my chariot-wheels,
And death must yield to love..