1 Oh, why should I wander a stranger from Thee,
Or cry in the desert for bread?
My foes will rejoice all my sorrows to see,
And smile at the tears I have shed.
Ye daughters of Zion, declare, have you seen
The star that on Israel shone?
Say, if in your tents my beloved has been,
And where with His flocks He has gone.
2 Oh Thou, in whose presence my soul takes delight
On whom in affliction I call;
My comfort by day and my song in the night
My hope, my salvation, my all.
Where dost Thou at noontime reside with Thy sheep
To feed on the pastures of love?
Say why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or lonely the wilderness rove?
Swain, Joseph, was born at Birmingham in 1761, and after being apprenticed to an engraver, removed to London. After a time he became a decided Christian, and being of an emotional poetic temperament, began to give expression to his new thoughts and feelings in hymns. In 1783 he was baptized by the Rev. Dr. Rippon, and in 1791 became minister of a Baptist congregation in East Street, Walworth. After a short but popular and very useful ministry, he died April 16, 1796 Swain published the following:—
(1) A Collection of Poems on Several Occasions, London, 1781; (2) Redemption, a Poem in five Books, London, 1789; (3) Experimental Essays on Divine Subjects, London, 1791; (4) Walworth Hymns, by J. Swain, Pastor of the Baptist Church Meeting… Go to person page >