Hence, vain, intruding world, depart

Hence, vain, intruding world, depart

Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Published in 14 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 born at Broughton, Hampshire, in 1717. Her father was a timber merchant, and at the same time officiated as the lay pastor of the Baptist Society at Broughton. Her mother died when she was 3. At the age of 19 she became an invalid after injuring her hip. At the age of 21 she was engaged to be married but her fiance drowned the day of the wedding. On the occasion of his death she wrote the hymn "When I survey life's varied scenes." After the death of her fiance she assisted her father with his ministry and remained single. Despite her sufferings she maintained a cheerful attitude. She published a book of poetry Poems on subjects chiefly devotional in 1760 under the pseudonym "Theodosia." The remaining works were published a… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hence, vain, intruding world, depart
Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Publication Date: 1760
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.


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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