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Occaision'd by reading Mr. Gray's Hymn to Adversity

O kind adversity, thou friend to truth

Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

I. O kind adversity, thou friend to truth!
By these to virtue form'd, the human mind
Disdains the vanities of heedless youth;
How roving else, and ignorant and blind!

II. When flatt'ring fortune shines with gaudy blaze,
In fascinating chains she holds the eye;
The mind is lost in error's fatal maze,
And dreams of lasting bliss below the sky.

III. Thy friendly admonitions rouse the soul,
Conviction rises strong to break the snare;
Truth, (heav'nly guide!) appears with kind controul,
And fortune's painted scenes are lost in air.

IV. Tho'rough thy aspect, and thy frown severe,
'Tis but to bend the proud, the stubborn heart;
A soft emollient, is thy briny tear,
And thy corrosives pain with healing smart.

V. The kindest, gentlest virtues form thy train;
Reflection comes with pensive musing eye,
And humble penitence, that not in vain
Presents to heav'n the supplicating sigh.

VI. Meek patience looks unmov'd on pain and care;
While chearful with peace-inspiring smile,
Points forward thro' the gloom, celestial fair!
The woes of life, her whisper can beguile.

VII. Beyond the woes of life she lifts her eyes,
And often meditates a joyful flight;
By faith, her radiant sister, taught to rise,
To distant prospects of immense delight.

VIII. O kind adversity, without thy aid,
How faintly would these virtues warm the breast!
Why should I tremble at thy darksome shade?
For who without adversity is blest?

IX. Thy wholesome cold, like winter, kills the weeds
Which in th' uncultur'd mind luxuriant rise;
Then heav'nly wisdom sows her precious seeds,
Nor shall they want the blessing of the skies.

X. But O may heav'n thy rig'rous hand restrain,
May'st thou correct and teach, but not destroy!
Thy needful lessons then shall not be in vain,
And thy short sorrows work my lasting joy.

Source: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 2 #24

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: O kind adversity, thou friend to truth
Title: Occaision'd by reading Mr. Gray's Hymn to Adversity
Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Language: English
Publication Date: 1760
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.