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I Cannot Bear Thine Absence, Lord

Full Text

I cannot bear thine absence, Lord,
My life expires if thou depart;
Be thou, my heart, still near my God,
And thou, my God, be near my heart.

I was not born for earth or sin,
Nor can I live on things so vile;
Yet I would stay my Father's time,
And hope and wait for heav'n awhile.

Then, dearest Lord, in thine embrace
Let me resign my fleeting breath;
And with a smile upon my face,
Pass the important hour of death.



Source: Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts, The #II.117

Author: Isaac Watts

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 >

Text Information

First Line: I cannot bear thine absence, Lord
Title: I Cannot Bear Thine Absence, Lord
Author: Isaac Watts
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English

Tune

BOURBON

A pentatonic (five-pitch) folk tune from the southern United States, BOURBON fits well with the penitential text of Psalm 38. The tune calls for unison singing, with accompaniment providing a firmly articulated rhythm. Like many pentatonic tunes, when unaccompanied it can be sung in canon after eith…

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