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The Complaint of the Mind

Why is the heaven-descended mind

Author: Anne Steele (1780)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

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

Author: Anne Steele

Anne Steele was born at Broughton, Hampshire, in 1717. Her father was a timber merchant, and at the same time officiated as the lay pastor of the Baptist Society at Broughton. Her mother died when she was 3. At the age of 19 she became an invalid after injuring her hip. At the age of 21 she was engaged to be married but her fiance drowned the day of the wedding. On the occasion of his death she wrote the hymn "When I survey life's varied scenes." After the death of her fiance she assisted her father with his ministry and remained single. Despite her sufferings she maintained a cheerful attitude. She published a book of poetry Poems on subjects chiefly devotional in 1760 under the pseudonym "Theodosia." The remaining works were published a… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Why is the heaven-descended mind
Title: The Complaint of the Mind
Author: Anne Steele (1780)
Language: English
Publication Date: 1780
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.
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