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XIII. WINTER has a joy for me,
While the Saviour's charms I read, Lowly, meek, from blemish free,
In the snow-drop's pensive head. Spring returns, and brings along
Life-invigorating suns :
Hark! the turtle's plaintive song
Seems to speak his dying groans ! Summer has a thousand charms,
All expressive of his worth; 'Tis his sun that lights and warms,
His the air that cools the earth. What has Autumn left to say
Nothing of a Saviour's grace? Yes, the beams of milder day,
Tell me of his smiling face. Light appears with early dawn,
While the sun makes haste to rise : See his bleeding beauties dawn
On the blushes of the skies. Ev’ning, with a silent pace,
Slowly moving in the west, Shows an emblem of his grace,
Points to an eternal rest.
To Jesus, the crown of my hope,
My soul is in haste to be gone:
O bear me, ye cherubim, up,
And waft me away to his throne.
My Saviour, whom absent, I love;
Whom, not having seen, I adore;
Whose name is exalted above
All glory, dominion, and pow'r:
Dissolve thou these bonds, that detain
My soul from her portion in thee;
Ah! strike off this adamant chain,
And make me eternally free.
When that happy era begins,
When array'd in thy glories I shine,
Nor grieve any more, by my sins,
The bosom on which I recline.
O then shall the veil be remov'd,
And round me thy brightness be pour'd:
I shall meet him whom absent I lov'd,
I shall see whom unseen I ador'd.
And then, never more shall the fears,
The trials, temptations, and woes,
Which darken this valley of tears,
Or, if yet remember'd above,
Remembrance no sadness shall raise :
They will be but new signs of thy love,
New themes for my wonder and praise.
Thus the strokes which, from sin and from pain,
Shall set me eternally free,
Will but strengthen and rivet the chain
Which binds me, my Saviour, to thee.
He who sits from day to day,
Where the prison'd lark is hung,
Heedless of his loudest lay,
Hardly knows that he has sung.
Daily visitations come,
Publishing to all aloud,
Soon the grave must be your home,
And your only suit a shroud.
But the monitory strain,
Oft repeated in our ears,
Seems to sound too much in vain,
Wins no notice, wakes no fears.
Pleasure's call attention wins,
Hear it often as we may;
New as ever seem our sins,
Though committed every day.
Death and judgment, heaven and hell,
These alone, so often heard,
No more move us than the bell,
When some stranger is interred.
Oh, then, ere the turf or tomb
Cover us from every eye,
Spirit of instruction, come,
Make us learn that we must die!
O CHILD of sorrow, be it thine to know
That Scripture only is the cure of woe !
That field of promise, how it Alings abroad
Its perfume o'er the Christian's thorny road!
The soul, reposing on assur'd relief,
Feels herself happy amidst all her grief,
Forgets her labour as she toils along,
Weeps tears of joy, and bursts into a song !
When one who holds communion with the skies,
Has fill'd his urn where the pure waters rise,
And once more mingles with us meaner things,
'Tis even as if an angel shook his wings;
Immortal fragrance fills the circuit wide,
And tells us where his treasure is supplied.
Oh! for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heav'nly frame; A light, to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb! Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord ? Where is the soul-refreshing view
Of Jesus, and his word ? What peaceful hours I once enjoy'd !
How sweet their mem'ry still ! But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill. Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest; I hate the sins that made thee mourn,
And drove thee from my breast.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame :
So purer light shall mark the road,
That leads me to the Lamb.