1 I am not concern'd to know
What to-morrow fate will do:
'Tis enough that I can say,
I've possest myself to-day:
Then if happy midnight death
Seize my flesh and stop my breath,
Yet to-morrow I shall be
Heir to the best part of me.
Glittering stones, and golden things,
Wealth and honours that have wings,
Ever fluttering to be gone,
I could never call my own.
Riches that the world bestows,
She can take, and I can lose;
But the treasures that are mine,
Lie afar beyond her line.
When I view my spacious soul,
And survey my self a whole
And enjoy my self alone,
I'm a kingdom of my own.
I've a mighty part within,
That the world hath never seen,
Rich as Eden's happy ground,
And with choicer plenty crowned.
Here on all the shining boughs
Knowledge fair and useless grows;
On the same young flowery tree
All the seasons you may see:
Notions in the bloom of light
Just disclosing to the sight;
Here are thoughts of larger growth,
Ripening into solid truth
Fruits refin'd of noble taste;
Seraphs feed on such repast.
Here in a green and shady grove,
Streams of pleasure mix with love;
There beneath the smiling skies,
Hills of contemplation rise;
Now upon some shining top,
Angels light, and call me up;
I rejoice to raise my feet,
Both rejoice when there we meet.
There are endless beauties more,
Earth hath no resemblance for;
Nothing like them round the pole,
Nothing can describe the soul:
'Tis a region half unknown,
That has treasures of its own,
More remote from public view,
Than the powers of Peru;
Broader 'tis, and brighter far,
Than the golden Indies are;
Ships that trace the wat'ry stage,
Cannot coast it in an age;
Harts, or horses, strong and fleet,
Had they wings to help their feet,
Could not run it half way o'er
In ten thousand days or more.
Yet the silly, wandring mind,
Loth to be too much confin'd,
Roves and takes her daily tours
Coasting round the narrow shores,
Narrow shores of flesh and sense,
Picking shells and pebbles thence;
Or she sits at Fancy's door,
Calling shapes and shadows to her.
Foreign visits still receiving,
And t' herself a stranger living,
Never, never would she buy
Indian dust, or Tyrian dye;
Never trade abroad for mer,
If she say her native shore:
If her inward worth were known,
She might ever live alone.
Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >