Dear Friend of Hymnary,

As you know, we don't ask for money too often. But we're asking now.

So before you hit the "close" button on this box, please consider a donation to keep Hymnary going.

More than half a million people come here every month -- worship leaders, hymnologists, hymn lovers and more -- people who now have access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet thanks to this site. But keeping all of this afloat does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue. So if you benefit from, would you please consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by clicking the Donate button below, or you can send a check to Hymnary at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary team,
Harry Plantinga

A reflection on the close of the year

Is this a theme of mirth? who can rejoice

Author: Anne Steele
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

Is this a theme of mirth? who can rejoice
That time, important time so swiftly flies;
And scorn reflection's monitory voice,
The friendly power that wooes us to be wise?

For ever ye departed months, adieu!
What heart that knows your value can be gay?
What heart that asks reflection's conscious view,
How many hours fled unimprov'd away?

Yet oft her warning voice, e'er yet they past,
Cry'd, "seize the precious minutes make them thine:
Ah how wilt thou account for so much waste
Or treasure lent for purposes divine?

O let my heart her needful dictates hear,
To her the solemn midnight hour I give,
And ask, while musing on the finish'd year,
How I have spent the time, and why I live?

How have I spent the time? reflection say?
She answers "wasted many a precious hour,
In careless indolence lost many a day,
When heaven demanded every active power.

Why do I live? "Past errors to deplore,
Low at the feet of sovereign grace to bow,
For strength divine intreat (while I adore,)
To dedicate to heaven the fleeting now."

Jesus, to thee, to thy atoning blood,
To thy unsully'd righteousness I fly:
O thou, my judge, my Saviour, and my God,
Instruct me how to live and how to die.

Source: Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse and Prose #94

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: Is this a theme of mirth? who can rejoice
Title: A reflection on the close of the year
Author: Anne Steele
Language: English
Publication Date: 1780
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.