Source of love, and light of day,
Tear me from myself away;
Every view and thought of mine
Cast into the mould of thine;
Teach, O teach this faithless heart
A consistent constant part;
Or, if it must live to grow
More rebellious, break it now!
Is it thus that I requite
Grace and goodness infinite?
Every trace of every boon
Cancelled and erased so soon!
Can I grieve thee, whom I love;
Thee, in whom I live and move?
If my sorrow touch thee still,
Save me from so great an ill!
Oh! the oppressive, irksome weight,
Felt in an uncertain state;
Comfort, peace, and rest, adieu,
Should I prove at last untrue!
Still I choose thee, follow still
Every notice of thy will;
But, unstable, strangely weak,
Still let slip the good I seek.
Self–confiding wretch, I thought
I could serve thee as I ought,
Win thee, and deserve to feel
All the love thou canst reveal;
Trusting self, a bruised reed,
Is to be deceived indeed:
Save me from this harm and loss,
Lest my gold turn all to dross!
Self is earthly—faith alone
Makes an unseen world our own;
Faith relinquished, how we roam,
Feel our way, and leave our home!
Spurious gems our hopes entice,
While we scorn the pearl of price;
And, preferring servants' pay,
Cast the children's bread away.
Translations from the French of Madame de la Mothe Guion
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 >
Author: Madame Guyon
Guyon, Madame. (1648-1717.) Jeanne Marie Bouyieres de la Mothe was the leader of the Quietist movement in France. The foundation of her Quietism was laid in her study of St. Francis de Sales, Madame de Chantal, and Thomas ä Kempis, in the conventual establishments of her native place, Montargis (Dep. Loiret), where she was educated as a child. There also she first learned the sentiment of espousal with Christ, to which later years gave a very marked development. She was married at sixteen to M. Guyon, a wealthy man of weak health, twenty-two years her senior, and her life, until his death, in 1676, was, partly from disparity of years, partly from the tyranny of her mother-in-law, partly from her own quick temper, an unhappy one. Her public… Go to person page >