Sir Henry Wotton

(1568 - 1639 / England)

This Hymn Was Made By Sir H. Wotton, When He Was An Ambassador At Venice, In The Time of A Great Sickness There


Eternal Mover, whose diffused Glory,
To shew our groveling Reason what thou art,
Unfolds it self in Clouds of Natures story,
Where Man, thy proudest Creature, acts his part:
Whom yet (alas) I know not why, we call
The Worlds contracted sum, the little all.

For, what are we but lumps of walking clay?
Why should we swel? whence should our spirits rise
Are not bruit Beasts as strong, and Birds as gay,
Trees longer liv'd, and creeping things as wise?
Only our souls was left an inward light,
To feel our weakness, and confess thy might.

Thou then, our strength, Father of life and death,
To whom our thanks, our vows, our selves we owe,
From me thy tenant of this fading breath,
Accept those lines which from thy goodness flow:
And thou that wert thy Regal Prophets Muse,
Do not thy Praise in weaker strains refuse.

Let these poor Notes ascend unto thy throne,
Where Majesty doth sit with Mercy crown'd,
Where my Redeemer lives, in whom alone
The errours of my wandring life are drown'd:
Where all the Quire of heaven resound the same,
That only Thine, Thine is the saving Name.

Well then, my Soul, joy in the midst of Pain;
Thy Christ that conquer'd hell, shall from above
With greater triumph yet return again,
And conquer his own Justice with his Love;
Commanding Earth and Seas to render those
Unto his Bliss, for whom he paid his Woes.

Now have I done: now are my thoughts at peace,
And now my Joyes are stronger then my grief:
I feel those Comforts that shall never cease,
Future in Hope, but present in Belief.
Thy words are true, thy promises are just,
And thou wilt find thy dearly bought in Dust.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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