I. How blest the minds, which daily rise
To worlds unseen beyond the skies,
And lose this vale of tears!
On heav'n-taught pinions while they soar,
And joys unknown to sense explore,
How low the cares of mortal life! how mean its bliss appears!
II. O for the wings of faith and love,
To bear my thoughts and hopes above
These little scenes of care!
Above these gloomy mists which rise,
And pain my heart, and cloud my eyes,
To see the dawn of heav'nly day, and breathe celestial air.
III. Yet higher would I stretch my flight,
And reach the sacred courts of light
[p.94] Where my Redeemer reigns:
Far-beaming from his radiant throne
Immortal splendours, joys unknown,
With never-fading lustre shine, o'er all the blissful plains.
IV. Ten thousand times ten thousand tongues
There join in rapture-breathing songs,
And tune the golden lyre
To Jesus their exalted Lord;
Dear name, how lov'd! and how ador'd!
His charms awake the heav'nly strain, and ev'ry note inspire.
V. No short-liv'd pleasure there beguiles,
But perfect bliss for ever smiles,
With undeclining ray:
Thither my thoughts would fain ascend,
But ah! to dust and earth they bend,
Fetter'd with empty vanities, and chain'd to lifeless clay.
VI. Dear Lord, and shall I ever be
So far from bliss, so far from thee,
[p.95] An exile from the sky?
O break these chains, my wishes fire,
And upward bid my heart aspire;
Without thy aid I cannot rise,
O give me wings to fly.
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 >