O, once I had a glorious view
Of my redeeming Lord;
He said, I'll be a God to you,
And I believed his word.
But now I have a deeper stroke
Than all my groanings are;
My God has me of late forsook,--
He's gone, I know not where.
O what immortal joys I felt,
On that celestial day,
When my hard heart began to melt,
By love dissolved away!
But my complaint is bitter now,
For all my joys are gone;
I've strayed!--I'm left!--I know not how
The light's from the withdrawn.
Once I could joy the saints to meet,
To me they were most dear;
I then could stoop to wash their feet,
And shed a joyful tear.
But now I meet them as the rest,
And with them joyless stay;
My conversation's spiritless,
Or else I've naught to say.
I once could mourn o'er dying men,
And longed their souls to win;
I travailed for their poor children,
And warned them of their sin:
But now my heart's so careless grown,
Although they're drowned in vice,
My bowels o'er them cease to yearn--
My tears have left mine eyes.
I forward go in duty's way,
But can't perceive him there;
Then backwards on the road I stray,
But cannot find him there:
On the left hand, where he doth work,
Among the wicked crew,
And on the right, I find him not,
Among the favored few.
What shall I do?--Shall I lie down,
And sink in deep despair?
Will he for ever wear a frown,
Nor hear my feeble prayer?
No: he will put his strength in me,
He knows the way I've strolled
And when I'm tried sufficiently
I shall come forth as gold.