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After Considering Some of his Friends

Why do the deeds of happier men

Into a mind return,

Which can, oppress’d by bands of sloth,

With no such ardours burn?

God of my life and all my powers,

The Everlasting Friend!

Shall life so favour’d in its dawn

Be fruitless in its end?

To Thee, O Lord, my tender years

A trembling duty paid,

With glimpses of the mighty God

Delighted and afraid.

From parents’ eye, and paths of men,

Thy touch I ran to meet;

It swell’d the hymn, and seal’d the prayer,

Twas calm, and strange, and sweet!

Oft when beneath the work of sin

Trembling and dark I stood,

And felt the edge of eager thought,

And felt the kindling blood:

Thy dew came down—my heart was Thine,

It knew nor doubt nor strife;

Cool now and peaceful as the grave,

And strong to second life.

Full of myself, I oft forsook

The now, the truth, and Thee,

For sanguine hope, or sensual gust,

Or earthborn sophistry.

The folly thrived, and came in sight

Too gross for life to bear;

I smote the breast for man too base,

I smote—and God was there!

Still will I hope for voice and strength

To glorify Thy Name;

Though I must die to all that’s mine,

And suffer all my shame.

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