My Lord, my God – if ever thou
Have been, cease not to be so now,
When tempests rise and billows roll
To break upon my weary soul,
And all the world rise up to make
My downfall sure; and doubters take
Their chance to cast a deeper gloom,
And fickle voices thunder doom,
And hard-beset I lift my eyes
And find no op’ning in the skies –
O Lord, my Lord, to thee I flee,
If thou wilt still my refuge be,
And fear no evil; let them rage,
Let all the chaos of the age
Rain on my head: I shall not fear,
For thou art ever, ever near;
The vow still sounds within my ear
That, ‘Till this dust sink into dust,
In thee, O God, will be my trust.’

In thee my trust! then what my fear?
Or what my doubt, if thou be near?
Do I despair? O shallow heart,
Be not consumed with where thou art,
But where thou mightest be – or yet
Where thou hast been before – Oh, let
The tides and times roll back again,
The shade reverse, the ceaseless gears
Groan, halt, slip, slipping with the years –
Back to the balmier seasons, when
Thou lifted me from choking dust,
And made thee (ah, dear Lord) my trust.
Green were the pastures then, and there
The waters murmured cool and clear
From glen to glen; and I was free
To walk, to run, to rest – in thee!
The vale was green, the sky was fair,
And all things whispered, ‘Thou art free.’
Ah, how my heart did trust thee then!
Thy gentle rod protected me,
Or chastened, when I strayed from thee:
And thou wast there, where I have been!
Ought I now to leave thy side,
From all thy tender mercies hide,
For fickle men? I cannot flee,
Nor could I, since I came to thee –
‘Since I came’? – nay, I ought to say,
‘Since thou didst pluck me from the clay’:
When I as yet knew not thy face,
Nor loved thy law, I knew thy grace:
Thou rescued me, and here I am –
Shaped and redeemed by thee – thy lamb,
And thou my Shepherd; lift me up,
Fill once again my wasting cup!
And let the wonder of thy ways
Fill up my heart with songs of praise:
For steadily my vow I raise,
That, ‘Till this dust sink into dust,
In thee, O God, will be my trust.’

In thee my trust – well, it is well:
Thou hast redeemed my soul from hell;
From hell, where fondly I did run,
Where I had stayed, but for thy Son,
And for thy undeserved aid:
Turn back the dial another shade!
The day was young – and young my heart:
The substance – form – the whole – the part –
The essence of all things I sought,
And scanned the high and low, and brought
A wand’ring eye, a steadfast soul
To search out and behold – an ear
Well-tuned and sensitive, to hear
The cataclysmic ages roll;
Being thus equipped, I piled high
The words and works of days gone by
And present times – the musings deep
Of darksome men – and thought to reap
The wisdom of the world, and keep
What I could glean from all; I dove
(Not shallow, as a glassy cove)
Deep into an unbounded sea
Of waves and tides and turbulency;
There tossed and rolled and whirled around
In that expansive waste, I found
The briny crest of misery
Break on the shores of vanity;
The nothingness of ages, bent
To that great cyclical event,
All empty came, and empty went.
O weary toil! O weary rest!
O foolish worst! O foolish best!
O thought and reason all unblest!
Sad state! unknowing, to be blind:
When I had perished in that sea,
Unknowing where, or what to find,
Whom I unknowing sought found me!
Thou Lord, as good as thou art great,
Reachest unto the vilest state!

Dost thou yet doubt, O soul? again
Recall thy Savior’s grace, and then
Thou canst not but lift up thy voice,
Exalt thy God, give thanks, rejoice
In him who saves the worst of men.
My Lord, my God – I yet recall
When thou, O Light and Life of all,
Saw my condition, heard my plea,
Revived my spirit – rescued me!
I plumbed the depths of self and sin;
But Lord, my Lord, thou entered in
And snatched me out – Oh, blessed day!
The cloud of blackness rolled away,
I saw that there was naught of good
Save in thy Son, and in his blood,
And nothing righteous I could do
Whereby my penitence to shew;
That far above, the titan weight
Of sin’s requital, looming great,
Threatened to crush me where I stood,
O God! but that the Savior’s blood
Could cleanse my sin and set me free,
Could cast the darkness far from me,
Could touch my eyes, that I might see.
Frail spirit! dost thou doubt him now?
Oh, let me raise again my vow,
That, ‘Till this dust sink into dust,
In thee, O God, will be my trust.’

Thou shieldest me from fear and doubt;
Thy goodness hedgeth me about;
Thou makest soft my mossy bed,
And pourest blessings on my head;
Thou givest me my daily food;
My whole heart knoweth thou art good.
Aye! thou art good, and I am well,
For in thy presence, Lord, I dwell,
Here nevermore to be removed,
If (as that other, whom thou loved)
When fears beset me, I might rest
My weary head upon thy breast,
And there be happy all my days,
Secure in God and in his ways;
Ah, there my peaceful heart shall bow,
And ever murmur, soft and low,
That, ‘Till this dust sink into dust,
In thee, O God, will be my trust.’



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