Hence, vain, intruding world, depart

Hence, vain, intruding world, depart

Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Published in 15 hymnals

Representative Text

I. Hence, vain, intruding world depart,
No more allure or vex my heart;
Let ev'ry vanity begone,
I would be peaceful and alone.

II. Here let me search my inmost mind,
And try its real state to find,
The secret springs of thought explore,
And call my words and actions o'er.

III. Reflect how soon my life will end,
And think on what my hopes depend,
What aim my busy thoughts pursue,
What work is done, and what to do.

IV. Eternity is just at hand;
And shall I waste my ebbing sand,
And careless view departing day,
And throw my inch of time away?

V. Eternity, tremendous sound!
To guilty souls, a dreadful wound;
But oh! if Christ and heav'n be mine,
How sweet the accents! how divine!

VI. Be this my chief, my only care,
My high pursuit, my ardent pray'r,
An int'rest in the Saviour's blood,
My pardon seal'd, and peace with God.

VII. But should my brightest hopes be vain,
The rising doubt, how sharp its pain!
My fears, O gracious God, remove,
Confirm my title to thy love.

VIII. Search, Lord, O search my inmost heart,
And light, and hope, and joy impart;
From guilt and error set me free,
And guide me safe to heav'n and thee.

Source: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 1 #124

Author: Anne Steele

Anne Steele was the daughter of Particular Baptist preacher and timber merchant William Steele. She spent her entire life in Broughton, Hampshire, near the southern coast of England, and devoted much of her time to writing. Some accounts of her life portray her as a lonely, melancholy invalid, but a revival of research in the last decade indicates that she had been more active and social than what was previously thought. She was theologically conversant with Dissenting ministers and "found herself at the centre of a literary circle that included family members from various generations, as well as local literati." She chose a life of singleness to focus on her craft. Before Christmas in 1742, she declined a marriage proposal from contemporar… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hence, vain, intruding world, depart
Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Publication Date: 1760
Copyright: Public Domain


Hence, vain intruding world, depart. Anne Steele. [Retirement and Reflection.] first published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. p. 124, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, again in the new edition, 1780; and again in Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, 1863. In its full form it is not in common use, but an abridged form beginning with stanza iv., "Eternity is just at hand," appeared in the 2nd edition of Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1787, No. 410, and is repeated in several modern collections; but mainly in America.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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