An ADDRESS to the DEITY.
Deus est quodcunque vides, quocunque moveris.
1 GOD of my life! and author of my days!
2 Permit my feeble voice to lisp thy praise;
3 And trembling, take upon a mortal tongue
4 That hallow'd name to harps of Seraphs sung.
5 Yet here the brightest Seraphs could no more
6 Than hide their faces, tremble, and adore.
7 Worms, angels, men, in every different sphere
8 Are equal all, for all are nothing here.[Page 126]
9 All nature faints beneath the mighty name,
10 Which nature's works, thro' all their parts proclaim.
11 I feel that name my inmost thoughts controul,
12 And breathe an awful stillness thro' my soul;
13 As by a charm, the waves of grief subside;
14 Impetuous passion stops her headlong tide;
15 At thy felt presence all emotions cease,
16 And my hush'd spirit finds a sudden peace,
17 Till every worldly thought within me dies,
18 And earth's gay pageants vanish from my eyes;
19 Till all my sense is lost in infinite,
20 And one vast object fills my aching sight.
21 But soon, alas! this holy calm is broke;
22 My soul submits to wear her wonted yoke;
23 With shackled pinions strives to soar in vain,
24 And mingles with the dross of earth again.
25 But he, our gracious Master, kind, as just,[Page 127]
26 Knowing our frame, remembers man is dust:
27 His spirit, ever brooding o'er our mind,
28 Sees the first wish to better hopes inclin'd;
29 Marks the young dawn of every virtuous aim,
30 And fans the smoaking flax into a flame:
31 His ears are open to the softest cry,
32 His grace descends to meet the lifted eye;
33 He reads the language of a silent tear,
34 And sighs are incense from a heart sincere.
35 Such are the vows, the sacrifice I give;
36 Accept the vow, and bid the suppliant live:
37 From each terrestrial bondage set me free;
38 Hush every wish that centers not in thee;
39 Bid my fond hopes, my vain disquiets cease,
40 And point my path to everlasting peace.
41 If the soft hand of winning pleasure leads
42 By living waters, and thro' flow'ry meads,[Page 128]
43 When all is smiling, tranquil, and serene,
44 And vernal beauty paints the flattering scene,
45 Oh! teach me to elude each latent snare,
46 And whisper to my sliding heart — Beware:
47 With caution let me hear the Syren's voice,
48 And doubtful, with a trembling heart, rejoice.
49 If friendless, in a vale of tears I stray,
50 Where briars wound, and thorns perplex my way,
51 Still let my steady soul thy goodness see,
52 And with strong confidence lay hold on thee;
53 With equal eye my various lot receive,
54 Resign'd to die, or resolute to live;
55 Prepar'd to kiss the sceptre, or the rod,
56 While GOD is seen in all, and all in GOD.
57 I read his awful name, emblazon'd high
58 With golden letters on th' illumin'd sky;[Page 129]
59 Nor less the mystic characters I see
60 Wrought in each flower, inscrib'd on every tree;
61 In every leaf that trembles to the breeze
62 I hear the voice of GOD among the trees;
63 With thee in shady solitudes I walk,
64 With thee in busy crowded cities talk,
65 In every creature own thy forming power,
66 In each event thy providence adore.
67 Thy hopes shall animate my drooping soul,
68 Thy precepts guide me, and thy fear controul.
69 Thus shall I rest, unmov'd by all alarms,
70 Secure within the temple of thine arms,
71 From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
72 Aud feel myself omnipotent in thee.
73 Then when the last, the closing hour draws nigh,
74 And earth recedes before my swimming eye;
75 When trembling on the doubtful edge of fate[Page 130]
76 I stand and stretch my view to either state;
77 Teach me to quit this transitory scene
78 With decent triumph and a look serene;
79 Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,
80 And having liv'd to thee, in thee to die.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): An ADDRESS to the DEITY.
Author: Anna Laetitia Barbauld
Genres: heroic couplet; address
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
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