I. Let fame the shining annals spread,
Where she records her mighty dead,
And boasting, promise an immortal dead,
Vain is her boast, her proud parade,
Sinks in oblivion's dreary shade;
Time, all-destroying time, forbids the claim.
II. Let her employ her utmost pow'r,
With radiance gild the present hour,
('Tis all she can) her fairest wreaths display;
What is the envy'd prize, decreed
The living Conqu'ror's glorious meed?
At best, the fading triumph of a day.
III. The Christian seeks a nobler prize,
A fairer wreath attracts his eyes,
[p.108] Divine ambition in his bosom glows;
His hopes a crown immortal fires;
Jesus, the Lord of his desires,
On faith, and humble love, the crown bestows.
IV. Honours, unconscious of decay,
While ages rise and roll away,
Secur'd by perfect truth's unchanging word;
The victor's palm, the robe of state,
Laid up in heav'n, the christian wait,
Triumphant, through his dying, rising Lord.
V. His name, enroll'd among the just,
When sculptur'd monuments are dust,
And mortal glory sinks in endless night;
Shall with immortal lustre shine,
Wrote by the hand of love divine
In life's fair book, in characters of light.
VI. Such is the Christian's glorious prize;
Thus high, his hopes, his wishes rise
Inspir'd by blest ambition, heav'n-born flame!
O thou, the source of bliss divine,
My heart renew, exalt, refine!
Nor let me bear, in vain, the Christian's name.
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 >