Why is the heaven-descended mind
(For nobler purposes design'd)
So close attach'd to frail unthinking clay?
Fain would she taste the joys of light
And meditate her upward flight;
But her weak partner cannot bear the day.
If now and then a ray divine
With sweet attractive lustre shine,
And upward tempt her half expanded wings:
The pains or appetites of sense
Retard her flight with fair pretence,
And chain her joyless down to trifling things.
How blest the unbodied minds above,
Who still desire, delight, and love,
And nought impedes the work, or clouds the joy!
No listless inattention there,
Nor tempting toy, nor gloomy care;
Celestial pleasure smiles without alloy!
O happy period! blissful day!
(Hope, cheerful hails its distant ray,
Though rising tears stand trembling in her eyes)
When this gross heavy clay refin'd,
A fit companion for the mind,
To active, joyful, endless life shall rise!
Jesus, to thee alone I owe
Each cheering glimpse of heaven below,
And thou canst bid the longing mind ascend:
Though dull mortality impede,
She spurns the weight if thou but lead;
On thee alone her strength and hope depend.
O speak the word! her joyful wings
Shall leave this scene of little things
For the fair regions of immense delight!
One kind assuring word of thine
Confirms the bright reversion mine,
And faith shall bid adieu to earth and night.
Source: Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse and Prose #48