I. Ah! wretched, vile, ungrateful heart,
That can from Jesus thus depart,
Thus fond of trifles vainly rove,
Forgetful of a Saviour's love!
II. In vain I charge my thoughts to stay,
And chide each vanity away,
In vain, alas! resolve to bind
This rebel heart, this wand'ring mind.
III. Through all resolves, how soon it flies,
And mocks the weak, the slender ties!
There's nought beneath a pow'r divine,
That can this roving heart confine.
IV. Jesus, to thee, I would return,
At thy dear feet repentant mourn;
There let me view thy pard'ning love,
And never from thy sight remove.
V. O let thy love with sweet controul,
Bind all the passions of my soul,
Bid ev'ry vanity depart,
And dwell forever in my heart.
Source: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 1 #119
Ah, wretched, vile, ungrateful heart. Anne Steele. [Lent.] Under the title of "The Inconstant Heart," this hymn was published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. p. 119, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines; again in the next edition, 1780; and again in Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, 1863. Its use is unknown, or nearly so, in Great Britain, but in America it is given in several of the most important modern collections, including Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872, No. 970, and others.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)