Ye linnets, let us try, beneath this grove

Ye linnets, let us try, beneath this grove

Translator: William Cowper; Author: Madame Guyon
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

Ye linnets, let us try, beneath this grove,
Which shall be loudest in our Maker's praise!
In quest of some forlorn retreat I rove,
For all the world is blind, and wanders from his ways.

That God alone should prop the sinking soul,
Fills them with rage against his empire now:
I traverse earth in vain from pole to pole,
To seek one simple heart, set free from all below.

They speak of love, yet little feel its sway,
While in their bosom many an idol lurks;
Their base desires, well satisfied, obey,
Leave the Creator's hand, and lean upon his works.

'Tis therefore I can dwell with man no more;
Your fellowship, ye warblers! suits me best:
Pure love has lost its price, though prized of yore,
Profaned by modern tongues, and slighted as a jest.

My God, who formed you for his praise alone,
Beholds his purpose well fulfilled in you;
Come, let us join the choir before his throne,
Partaking in his praise with spirits just and true.

Yes, I will always love; and, as I ought,
Tune to the praise of love my ceaseless voice;
Preferring love too vast for human thought,
In spite of erring men, who cavil at my choice.

Why have I not a thousand thousand hearts,
Lord of my soul! that they might all be thine?
If thou approve—the zeal thy smile imparts,
How should it ever fail! can such a fire decline?

Love, pure and holy, is a deathless fire;
Its object heavenly, it must ever blaze:
Eternal love a God must needs inspire,
When once he wins the heart, and fits it for his praise.

Self–love dismissed—'tis then we live indeed—
In her embrace, death, only death is found:
Come, then, one noble effort, and succeed,
Cast off the chain of self with which thy soul is bound.

Oh! I could cry, that all the world might hear,
Ye self–tormentors, love your God alone;
Let his unequalled excellence be dear,
Dear to your inmost souls, and make him all your own!

They hear me not—alas! how fond to rove
In endless chase of folly's specious lure!
'Tis here alone, beneath this shady grove,
I taste the sweets of truth—here only am secure.

Translations from the French of Madame de la Mothe Guion

Translator: William Cowper

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 รค 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 >

Text Information

First Line: Ye linnets, let us try, beneath this grove
Translator: William Cowper
Author: Madame Guyon
Language: English

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Text

Translations from the French of Madame de la Mothe Guion #2

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