My former hopes are fled

My former hopes are fled

Author: William Cowper
Tune: SHAWMUT (Mason)
Published in 127 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 My former hopes are fled:
My terror now begins;
I feel, alas! that I am dead
In trespasses and sins.

2 Ah, whither shall I fly?
I hear the thunder roar:
The law proclaims destruction nigh,
And vengeance at the door.

3 When I review my ways,
I dread impending doom;
But hark! a friendly whisper says,
Flee from the wrath to come.

4 I see, or think I see,
A glimmering from afar,
A beam of day that shines for me,
To save me from despair.

5 Forerunner of the sun,
It marks the pilgrim's way;
I'll gaze upon it while I run,
And watch the rising day.

Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #369

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: My former hopes are fled
Author: William Cowper
Meter: 6.6.8.6
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

My former hopes are fled. W. Cowper. [Seeking God.] Appeared in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. iii., No. 8, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "The Shining Light." It was passed into common use in Great Britain and America, its use in the latter being somewhat extensive.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #11916
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

Instances

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The Cyber Hymnal #11916

Include 126 pre-1979 instances
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