When I resolv'd to watch my thoughts

Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

I. When I resolv'd to watch my thoughts,
To watch my words and all my ways,
Lest I should with unwary faults
Offend the God my life should praise;

II. In mournful silence long restrain'd,
My thoughts were press'd with secret grief;
My heart with sad reflection pain'd,
In silence sound no kind relief.

III. While thus the inward anguish burn'd,
My straiten'd speech at length found way;
My tongue in broken accents mourn'd
Before my God, and try'd to pray.

IV. Almighty Maker of my frame,
Teach me the measure of my days,
Teach me to know how frail I am,
And spend the remnant to thy praise.

V. My days are shorter than a span,
A little point my life appears;
How frail at best is dying man!
How vain are all his hopes and fears!

VI. Vain his ambition, noise and show!
Vain are the cares which rack his mind!
He heaps up treasures mix'd with woe;
And dies, and leaves them all behind.

VII. O be a nobler portion mine:
My God, I bow before thy throne,
Earth's fleeting treasures I resign,
And fix my hope on thee alone.

VIII. Save me, by thy almighty arm,
From all my sins, and cleanse my faults;
Then guilt nor folly shall alarm
My soul, or vex my peaceful thoughts.

IX. Beneath the chast'ning of thy hand,
Let not my heart or tongue repine;
But silent and submissive bend,
And bear the stroke because 'tis thine.

X. But O let mercy soon prevail,
Thy awful anger to remove;
The stroke is just, but I am frail,
Thy sparing goodness let me prove.

XI. Frail man, how soon his beauty flies!
He sins, and God afflicts with pain;
Crush'd like the feeble moth he dies;
His strength, how impotent and vain!

XII. Lord, wilt thou gracious hear my cry,
Pity my tears and heal my woe?
As were my fathers, so am I,
A wretched stranger here below.

XIII. O spare me, and my strength restore,
E'er my few hasty minutes flee;
And when my days on earth are o'er,
Let me for ever dwell with thee.

Source: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 2 #168

Author: Anne Steele

Anne Steele was the daughter of Particular Baptist preacher and timber merchant William Steele. She spent her entire life in Broughton, Hampshire, near the southern coast of England, and devoted much of her time to writing. Some accounts of her life portray her as a lonely, melancholy invalid, but a revival of research in the last decade indicates that she had been more active and social than what was previously thought. She was theologically conversant with Dissenting ministers and "found herself at the centre of a literary circle that included family members from various generations, as well as local literati." She chose a life of singleness to focus on her craft. Before Christmas in 1742, she declined a marriage proposal from contemporar… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When I resolv'd to watch my thoughts
Title: Psalm XXXIX
Author: Anne Steele (1760)
Language: English
Publication Date: 1760
Copyright: Public Domain


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Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 2 #168

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