How vain a thought is bliss below

How vain a thought is bliss below

Author: Anne Steele
Published in 15 hymnals

Representative Text

I. How vain a thought is bliss below!
'Tis all an airy dream!
How empty are the joys that flow
On pleasure's smiling stream!

II. Now gayly-painted bubbles rise
With varied colours bright;
They break, the short amusement flies—
Can this be call'd delight?

III. Transparent now, and all serene
The gentle current flows:
While fancy draws the flatt'ring scene,
How fair the landskip shows!

IV. But soon its transient charms decay,
When ruffling tempests blow;
The soft delusions fleet away,
And pleasure ends in woe.

V. Why do I here expect repose?
Or seek for bliss in vain?
Since every pleasure earth bestows,
Is but dissembled pain.

VI. O let my nobler wishes soar
Beyond these seats of night;
In heav'n substantial bliss explore,
And permanent delight!

VII. There pleasure flows forever clear;
And rising to the view
Such dazling scenes of joy appear,
As fancy never drew.

VIII. No fleeting landskip cheats the gaze,
Nor airy form beguiles;
But everlasting bliss displays
Her undissembled smiles.

IX. Adieu to all below the skies,
Celestial guardian come!
On thy kind wing my soul would rise
To her eternal home.

Source: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 2 #55

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: How vain a thought is bliss below
Author: Anne Steele



Instances (1 - 15 of 15)

Christian Psalms and Hymns to Aid in Public and Private Devotion #d402


Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 2 #55

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Seamen's Hymns #685

Seamen's Hymns and Devotional Assistant #d286

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The Christian Melodist: a new collection of hymns for social religious worship #536

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