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When, gracious Lord, ah, tell me when

Shall I into myself retire?

To Thee discover all my pain,

And show my troubled heart’s desire?

I long to pour out all my soul,

Sorrow, and sin’s just weight to feel;

To smart till Thou hast made me whole,

To mourn till Thou hast said, “Be still.”

Sick of desire, for Thee I cry,

And, weary of forbearing, groan:

Horror and sin are ever nigh,

My comfort and my God are gone.

Trembling in dread suspense I stand

Sinking, and falling into sin,

Till Thou reach out Thy mighty hand,

And snatch me from this hell within.

Fain would I rise, and get me hence,

From every fond engagement free,—

Pleasure, and praise, and wealth, and sense,

And all that holds me back from Thee.

O that the mild and peaceful dove

Would lend his wings to aid my flight!

Soon would I then far off remove,

And hide me from this hateful light,—

Where none but the all-seeing eye

Could mark or interrupt my grief;

No human comforter be nigh,

To torture me with vain relief.

Far in some lonely, desert place,

For ever, ever would I sit,

Languish to see the Saviour’s face,

And perish, weeping at His feet.

O, what is life without my God!

A burden more than I can bear:

I struggle to throw off the load,

Me from myself I strive to tear.

I ever gasp in Christ to live;

O that to me the grace were given!

Had I Thy heaven and earth to give,

I’d buy Thee with Thy earth and heaven.

Let me—I know not how to pray;

My anguish cannot be exprest:

Jesu, Thou seest what I would say;

O, let Thy bowels speak the rest!

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