Birthday Thoughts And Aspirations
What solemn thoughts crowd o'er my mind
As this eventful day moves on.
I feel most forcibly inclined
To strive some proper words to find,
In praise of God for what he's done.
And why? For seven and thirty years:
He who at first my being gave
Has still upheld me, calmed my fears,
While passing through this Vale of Tears,
And on my journey to the grave.
'Tis then but right that I should take
A retrospect of my past days.
This done in faithfulness will make
My humble lyre aloud to wake
Its every string in God's pure praise.
Then let my memory recall
Each striking scene through which I've passed.
What strong emotion fills my soul,
As they in quick succession roll
Before my wondering gaze at last!
I feel my childhood's joys once more,
Again I pass its sorrows through.
Of richest mercies what a store,
In health or else in sickness sore,
As if by magic spring to view.
With all my sins upon my head
I see two near escapes from death;
Then is a feast before me spread,
And I on heavenly food am fed,
The precious gift of God through faith.
Lo, there I see Him guard me round,
Lest strong temptations me o'ercome;
Here I am in his favor found,
While others in perdition drowned
Were long since hurried to the tomb!
O, what a miracle is this,
That I am saved from hell and sin!
Predestined by pure Grace to Bliss,
My soul in transport bows submiss
To God, and hopes a crown to win.
Then may I mourn my past neglect
Of all thy goodness, O, my God!
Henceforward may I more respect
Thy just commands and still detect
Those lurking sins that bring thy rod.
Should I be spared another year,
May one great thought my bosom fill;
To let it to mankind appear
That I am but a pilgrim here,
Just left awhile to do Thy will.
But Lord, thou know'st I am but weak;
Impart fresh strength that I may be
More and more anxious still to seek
The good of souls with spirit meek,
And thus prove my sincerity.
And here I would once more record
The fervent breathings of my soul,
That thou would'st richest Grace afford
To all my children through the Word,
And still our every act control.
Thomas Cowherd's Other Poems
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