O that I could a sin once see!
We paint the devil foul, yet he
Hath some good in him, all agree.
Sin is flat opposite to th' Almighty, seeing
It wants the good of virtue, and of being.

But God more care of us hath had:
If apparitions make us sad,
By sight of sin we should grow mad.
Yet as in sleep we see foul death, and live:
So devils are our sins in perspective.

by George Herbert.

In Memoriam A. H. H.: 5. Sometimes I Hold It Half A Sin

I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
A use in measured language lies;
The sad mechanic exercise,
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.
In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold;
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given in outline and no more.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

The Garden Of Sin

I know the garden-close of sin,
The cloying fruits, the noxious flowers,
I long have roamed the walks and bowers,
Desiring what no man shall win:

A secret place to shelter in,
When soon or late the angry powers
Come down to seek the wretch who cowers,
Expecting judgment to begin.

The pleasure long has passed away
From flowers and fruit, each hour I dread
My doom will find me where I lie.
I dare not go, I dare not stay.
Without the walks, my hope is dead,
Within them, I myself must die.

by Robert Fuller Murray.

Be Sure Sin Will Find You Out

Do you think, oh shrewd deceiver,
Because your well-laid plan,
For the death of a fellow-being,
Or the wreck of a fellow-man,
Was plotted alone at midnight,
When not a soul was about,
And carried out in secret,
That it will not find you out?

You have given it breath and being,
You have given it wings to fly;
It has gone forth a black-winged raven
To follow you 'till you die.
Like Poe's, it will knock on your chamber door,
It will haunt you the earth about,
It will trouble your peace at the midnight hour.
Be sure it will find you out.

by Martha Lavinia Hoffman.

Sonnet 62: Sin Of Self-Love Possesseth All Mine Eye

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye,
And all my soul, and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for my self mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed
Beated and chapped with tanned antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
'Tis thee, myself, that for my self I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.

by William Shakespeare.

Lord, with what care hast Thou begirt us round!
Parents first season us; then schoolmasters
Deliver us to laws; -they send us bound
To rules of reason, holy messengers,
Pulpits and Sundays, sorrow dogging sin,
Afflictions sorted, anguish of all sizes,
Fine nets and stratagems to catch us in,
Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,
Blessings beforehand, ties of gratefulness,
The sound of glory ringing in our ears;
Without, our shame; within, our consciences;
Angels and grace, eternal hopes and fears:
Yet all these fences and their whole array
One cunning bosom-sin blows quite away.

by George Herbert.

Lord, with what care hast Thou begirt us round!
Parents first season us; then schoolmasters
Deliver us to laws;—they send us bound
To rules of reason, holy messengers,
Pulpits and Sundays, sorrow dogging sin,
Afflictions sorted, anguish of all sizes,
Fine nets and stratagems to catch us in,
Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,
Blessings beforehand, ties of gratefulness,
The sound of glory ringing in our ears;
Without, our shame; within, our consciences;
Angels and grace, eternal hopes and fears:
Yet all these fences and their whole array
One cunning bosom-sin blows quite away.

by George Herbert.

To His Conscience

Can I not sin, but thou wilt be
My private protonotary?
Can I not woo thee, to pass by
A short and sweet iniquity?
I'll cast a mist and cloud upon
My delicate transgression,
So utter dark, as that no eye
Shall see the hugg'd impiety.
Gifts blind the wise, and bribes do please
And wind all other witnesses;
And wilt not thou with gold be tied,
To lay thy pen and ink aside,
That in the mirk and tongueless night,
Wanton I may, and thou not write?
--It will not be: And therefore, now,
For times to come, I'll make this vow;
From aberrations to live free:
So I'll not fear the judge, or thee.

by Robert Herrick.

Sonnet 142: Love Is My Sin, And Thy Dear Virtue Hate

Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving,
O, but with mine, compare thou thine own state,
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving,
Or if it do, not from those lips of thine
That have profaned their scarlet ornaments
And sealed false bonds of love as oft as mine,
Robbed others' beds' revenues of their rents.
Be it lawful I love thee as thou lov'st those
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee.
Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.
If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
By self-example mayst thou be denied!

by William Shakespeare.

The House Of Sin

When Time is done at last, and the last Spring
Fadeth on earth, and thy gaze seeketh mine,
Watch well for one whose face beareth for sign
The legend of a soul’s refashioning:
As I shall watch for one whose pale hands bring

The first faint violet, and know them thine
Grown pitiful and come to build Love’s shrine
Where the old Aprils wait, unfaltering.
Then the great floods between us will retire,
And the long path I follow down will grow


To be the path thy climbing feet desire;
Until we meet at last, made glad, and know
The cleansing hands that made my soul as snow
Have kept alive in thine the ancient fire.

by Francis Joseph Sherman.

Psalm 139 Part 3

Sincerity professed, and grace tried; or, The heart-searching God.

My God, what inward grief I feel
When impious men transgress thy will!
I mourn to hear their lips profane
Take thy tremendous name in vain.

Does not my soul detest and hate
The sons of malice and deceit?
Those that oppose thy laws and thee,
I count them enemies to me.

Lord, search my soul, try every thought;
Though my own heart accuse me not
Of walking in a false disguise,
I beg the trial of thine eyes.

Doth secret mischief lurk within?
Do I indulge some unknown sin?
O turn my feet whene'er I stray,
And lead me in thy perfect way.

by Isaac Watts.

The Sin Of Detection

SHE bowed her face among them all, as one
By one they rose and went. A little scorn
They showed—a very little. More forlorn
She seemed because of that: she might have grown
Proud else in her turn, and have so made known
What she well knew—that the free—hearted corn,
Kissed by the hot air freely all the morn,
Is better than the weed which has its own
Foul glut in secret. Both her white breasts heaved
Like heaving water with their weight of lace;
And her long tresses, full of musk and myrrh,
Were shaken from the braids her fingers weaved,
So that they hid the shame in her pale face.
Then I stept forth, and bowed addressing her.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

A Lesson In Humility

'Tis time, my soul, thou shouldst be purged of pride.
What men are these with thee, whose ill deeds done
Make thee thus shrink from them and be denied?
They are but as thou art, each mother's son
A convict in transgression. Here is one,
Sayest thou, who struck his fellow and he died.
And yet he weeps hot tears. Do thy tears run?
This other thieved, yet clasps Christ crucified.

Where is thy greater virtue? Thinkest thou sin
Is but crime's record on the judgment seat?
Or must thou wait for death to be bowed down?
Oh for a righteous reading which should join
Thy deeds together in an accusing sheet,
And leave thee if thou couldst, to face men's frown!

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

Is It A Sin, To Wish That I May Meet Thee

Is it a sin, to wish that I may meet thee
In that dim world whither our spirits stray,
When sleep and darkness follow life and day?
Is it a sin, that there my voice should greet thee
With all that love that I must die concealing?
Will my tear-laden eyes sin in revealing
The agony that preys upon my soul?
Is't not enough through the long, loathsome day,
To hold each look and word in stern control?
May I not wish the staring sunlight gone,
Day and its thousand torturing moments done,
And prying sights and sounds of men away?
O still and silent Night! when all things sleep,
Locked in thy swarthy breast my secret keep:
Come, with thy visioned hopes and blessings now!
I dream the only happiness I know.

by Frances Anne Kemble.

The Unpardonable Sin

This is the sin against the Holy Ghost: —
To speak of bloody power as right divine,
And call on God to guard each vile chief's house,
And for such chiefs, turn men to wolves and swine:—

To go forth killing in White Mercy's name,
Making the trenches stink with spattered brains,
Tearing the nerves and arteries apart,
Sowing with flesh the unreaped golden plains.

In any Church's name, to sack fair towns,
And turn each home into a screaming sty,
To make the little children fugitive,
And have their mothers for a quick death cry,—

This is the sin against the Holy Ghost:
This is the sin no purging can atone:—
To send forth rapine in the name of Christ:—
To set the face, and make the heart a stone.

by Vachel Lindsay.

The Unpardonable Sin

I do not cry, beloved, neither curse.
Silence and strength, these two at least are good.
He gave me sun and start and aught He could,
But not a woman's love; for that is hers.

He sealed her heart from sage and questioner --
Yea, with seven seals, as he has sealed the grave.
And if she give it to a drunken slave,
The Day of Judgment shall not challenge her.

Only this much: if one, deserving well,
Touching your thin young hands and making suit,
Feel not himself a crawling thing, a brute,
Buried and bricked in a forgotten hell;

Prophet and poet be he over sod,
Prince among angels in the highest place,
God help me, I will smite him on the face,
Before the glory of the face of God.

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

Holy Lord God! I love Thy truth,
Nor dare Thy least commandment slight;
Yet pierced by sin the serpent's tooth,
I mourn the anguish of the bite.

But though the poison lurks within,
Hope bids me still with patience wait;
Till death shall set me free from sin,
Free from the only thing I hate.

Had I a throne above the rest,
Where angels and archangels dwell,
One sin, unslain, within my breast,
Would make that heaven as dark as hell.

The prisoner sent to breathe fresh air,
And blest with liberty again,
Would mourn were he condemn'd to wear
One link of all his former chain.

But, oh! no foe invades the bliss,
When glory crowns the Christian's head;
One look at Jesus as He is
Will strike all sin forever dead.

by William Cowper.

Olney Hymn 56: Hatred Of Sin

Holy Lord God! I love Thy truth,
Nor dare Thy least commandment slight;
Yet pierced by sin the serpent's tooth,
I mourn the anguish of the bite.

But though the poison lurks within,
Hope bids me still with patience wait;
Till death shall set me free from sin,
Free from the only thing I hate.

Had I a throne above the rest,
Where angels and archangels dwell,
One sin, unslain, within my breast,
Would make that heaven as dark as hell.

The prisoner sent to breathe fresh air,
And blest with liberty again,
Would mourn were he condemn'd to wear
One link of all his former chain.

But, oh! no foe invades the bliss,
When glory crowns the Christian's head;
One look at Jesus as He is
Will strike all sin forever dead.

by William Cowper.

Bowed With A Sense Of Sin

Bowed with a sense of sin, I faint
Beneath the complicated load;
Father, attend my deep complaint,
I am Thy creature, Thou my God.

Though I have broke Thy righteous law,
Yet with me let Thy Spirit stay;
Thyself from me do not withdraw,
Nor take my spark of hope away.

Mercy unlimited is Thine;
God of the penitent Thou art;
The saving power of blood divine
Shall ease the anguish of my heart.

Then let not sin my ruin be,
Gives me in Thee my rest to find:
Jesus, the sick have need of Thee,-
Thou great Physician of mankind.

In my salvation, Lord, display
The triumphs of abounding grace;
Tell me my guilt is done away,
And turn my mourning into praise.

Then shall I add my feeble song
To theirs who chant Thy praise on high,
And spread with an immortal tongue
Thy glory through the echoing sky.

by Augustus Montague Toplady.

Psalm 119 Part 13

Holy fear, and tenderness of conscience.

ver. 10

With my whole heart I've sought thy face:
O let me never stray
From thy commands, O God of grace,
Nor tread the sinner's way.

ver. 11

Thy word I've hid within my heart
To keep my conscience clean,
And be an everlasting guard
From every rising sin.

ver. 63,53,158

I'm a companion of the saints
Who fear and love the Lord;
My sorrows rise, my nature faints,
When men transgress thy word.

ver. 161,163

While sinners do thy gospel wrong
My spirit stands in awe;
My soul abhors a lying tongue,
But loves thy righteous law.

ver. 161,120

My heart with sacred rev'rence hears
The threat'nings of thy word;
My flesh with holy trembling fears
The judgments of the Lord.

ver. 166,174

My God, I long, I hope, I wait,
For thy salvation still;
While thy whole law is my delight,
And I obey thy will.

by Isaac Watts.

On man, in his own image made,
How much did GOD bestow?
The whole creation homage paid,
And owned him LORD, below!

He dwelt in Eden's garden, stored
With sweets for every sense;
And there with his descending LORD
He walked in confidence.

But O! by sin how quickly changed!
His honour forfeited,
His heart, from God and truth, estranged,
His conscience filled with dread!

Now from his Maker's voice he flees,
Which was before his joy:
And thinks to hide, amidst the trees,
From an All-seeing eye.

Compelled to answer to his name,
With stubbornness and pride
He cast, on God himself, the blame,
Nor once for mercy cried.

But grace, unasked, his heart subdued
And all his guilt forgave;
By faith, the promised seed he viewed,
And felt his pow'r to save.

Thus we ourselves would justify,
Though we the Law transgress;
Like him, unable to deny,
Unwilling to confess.

But when by faith the sinner sees
A pardon bought with blood;
Then he forsakes his foolish pleas,
And gladly turns to God.

by John Newton.

Men Honoured Above Angels

Now let us join with hearts and tongues,
And emulate the angels' songs;
Yea, sinners may address their King
In songs that angels cannot sing.

They praise the Lamb who once was slain;
But we can add a higher strain;
Not only say, "He suffer'd thus,
"But that he suffer'd all for us."

When angels by transgression fell,
Justice consign'd them all to hell;
But Mercy form'd a wondrous plan,
To save and honour fallen man.

Jesus, who pass'd the angels by,
Assum'd our flesh to bleed and die;
And still he makes it his abode;
As man he fills the throne of God.

Our next of kin, our Brother now,
Is he to whom the angels bow;
They join with us to praise his name,
But we the nearest int'rest claim.

But, ah! how faint our praises rise!
Sure, 'tis the wonder of the skies,
That we, who share his richest love,
So cold and unconcern'd should prove.

Oh, glorious hour, it comes with speed!
When we, from sin and darkness freed,
Shall see the God who died for man,
And praise him more than angels can.

by John Newton.

Upon The Circumcision

Ye flaming Powers, and wingèd Warriors bright,
That erst with music, and triumphant song,
First heard by happy watchful Shepherds’ ear,
So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along,
Through the soft silence of the listening night,—
Now mourn; and if sad share with us to bear
Your fiery essence can distill no tear,
Burn in your sighs, and borrow
Seas wept from our deep sorrow,
He who with all Heaven’s heraldry whilere
Entered the world, now bleeds to give us ease.
Alas! how soon our sin
Sore doth begin
His infancy to seize!
O more exceeding Love, or Law more just?
Just Law indeed, but more exceeding Love!
For we, by rightful doom remediless,
Were lost in death, till He, that dwelt above
High-throned in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied his glory, even to nakedness;
And that great Covenant which we still transgress
Intirely satisfied,
And the full wrath beside
Of vengeful Justice bore for our excess,
And seals obedience first with wounding smart
This day; but oh! ere long,
Huge pangs and strong
Will pierce more near his heart.

by John Milton.

KRASLAJORSK, SIBERIA, March 29.

'My eyes are better, and I shall travel slowly toward home.'
DANENHOWER.


From the regions of the Night,
Coming with recovered sight
From the spell of darkness free,
What will Danenhower see?

He will see when he arrives,
Doctors taking human lives.
He will see a learned judge
Whose decision will not budge
Till both litigants are fleeced
And his palm is duly greased.
Lawyers he will see who fight
Day by day and night by night;
Never both upon a side,
Though their fees they still divide.
Preachers he will see who teach
That it is divine to preach
That they fan a sacred fire
And are worthy of their hire.
He will see a trusted wife

(Pride of some good husband's life)
Enter at a certain door
And-but he will see no more.
He will see Good Templars reel
See a prosecutor steal,
And a father beat his child.
He'll perhaps see Oscar Wilde.

From the regions of the Night
Coming with recovered sight
From the bliss of blindness free,
That's what Danenhower'll see.

1882.

by Ambrose Bierce.

Psalm 19 Part 2

God's word most excellent; or, Sincerity and watchfulness.
For a Lord's-day morning.

Behold, the morning sun
Begins his glorious way;
His beams through all the nations run,
And life and light convey.

But where the gospel comes
It spreads diviner light;
It calls dead sinners from their tombs,
And gives the blind their sight.

How perfect is thy word!
And all thy judgments just!
For ever sure thy promise, Lord,
And men securely trust.

My gracious God, how plain
Are thy directions giv'n!
O may I never read in vain,
But find the path to heav'n!

PAUSE.

I hear thy word with love,
And I would fain obey:
Send thy good Spirit from above
To guide me, lest I stray.

O who can ever find
The errors of his ways?
Yet with a bold, presumptuous mind
I would not dare transgress.

Warn me of every sin,
Forgive my secret faults,
And cleanse this guilty soul of mine,
Whose crimes exceed my thoughts.

While with my heart and tongue
I spread thy praise abroad,
Accept the worship and the song,
My Savior and my God.

by Isaac Watts.

1

Sin!
O only fatal woe,
That mak'st me sad and mourning go!
That all my joys dost spoil,
His Kingdom and my Soul defile!
I never can agree
With thee!


2

Thou!
Only thou! O thou alone,
And my obdurate heart of stone,
The poison and the foes
Of my enjoyments and repose,
The only bitter ill,
Dost kill !


3

Oh!
I cannot meet with thee,
Nor once approach thy memory,
But all my joys are dead,
And all my sacred Treasures fled
As if I now did dwell
In Hell.


4

Lord
O hear how short I breathe!
See how I tremble here beneath
A Sin! Its ugly face
More terror, than its dwelling place
Contains (O dreadful Sin!)
Within!


5

THE RECOVERY

Sin! wilt thou vanquish me?
And shall I yield the victory ?
Shall all my joys be spoil'd,
And pleasures soil'd
By thee?
Shall I remain
As one that's slain
And never more lift up the head?
Is not my Saviour dead?
His blood, thy bane, my balsam, bliss, joy, wine,
Shall thee destroy; heal, feed, make me divine.

by Thomas Traherne.

Lord, I confess my sin is great;
Great is my sin. Oh! gently treat
With thy quick flow'r, thy momentany bloom;
Whose life still pressing
Is one undressing,
A steady aiming at a tomb.

Man's age is two hours' work, or three:
Each day doth round about us see.
Thus are we to delights: but we are all
To sorrows old,
If life be told
From what life feeleth, Adam's fall.

O let thy height of mercy then
Compassionate short-breathed men.
Cut me not off for my most foul transgression:
I do confess
My foolishness;
My God, accept of my confession.

Sweeten at length this bitter bowl,
Which thou hast pour'd into my soul;
Thy wormwood turn to health, winds to fair weather:
For if thou stay,
I and this day,
As we did rise, we die together.

When thou for sin rebukest man,
Forthwith he waxeth woe and wan:
Bitterness fills our bowels; all our hearts
Pine, and decay,
And dropp away,
And carry with them th'other parts.

But thou wilt sin and grief destroy;
That so the broken bones may joy,
And tune together in a well-set song,
Full of his praises,
Who dead men raises;
Fractures well cur'd make us more strong.

by George Herbert.

The Unpardonable Sin

I reckon that ye never knew,
That dandy slugger, Tom Carew,
He had a touch as light an' free
As that of any honey-bee;
But where it lit there wasn't much
To jestify another touch.
O, what a Sunday-school it was
To watch him puttin' up his paws
An' roominate upon their heft
Particular his holy left!
Tom was my style-that's all I say;
Some others may be equal gay.
What's come of him? Dunno, I'm sure
He's dead-which make his fate obscure.
I only started in to clear
One vital p'int in his career,
Which is to say-afore he died
He soiled his erming mighty snide.
Ye see he took to politics
And learnt them statesmen-fellers' tricks;
Pulled wires, wore stovepipe hats, used scent,
Just like he was the President;
Went to the Legislator; spoke
Right out agin the British yoke
But that was right. He let his hair
Grow long to qualify for Mayor,
An' once or twice he poked his snoot
In Congress like a low galoot!
It had to come-no gent can hope
To wrastle God agin the rope.
Tom went from bad to wuss. Being dead,
I s'pose it oughtn't to be said,
For sech inikities as flow
From politics ain't fit to know;
But, if you think it's actin' white
To tell it-Thomas throwed a fight!

by Ambrose Bierce.

Ultima Thule: The Sifting Of Peter

In St. Luke's Gospel we are told
How Peter in the days of old
Was sifted;
And now, though ages intervene,
Sin is the same, while time and scene
Are shifted.

Satan desires us, great and small,
As wheat to sift us, and we all
Are tempted;
Not one, however rich or great,
Is by his station or estate
Exempted.

No house so safely guarded is
But he, by some device of his,
Can enter;
No heart hath armor so complete
But he can pierce with arrows fleet
Its centre.

For all at last the cock will crow,
Who hear the warning voice, but go
Unheeding,
Till thrice and more they have denied
The Man of Sorrows, crucified
And bleeding.

One look of that pale, suffering face
Will make us feel the deep disgrace
Of weakness;
We shall be sifted till the strength
Of self-conceit be changed at length
To meekness.

Wounds of the soul, though healed, will ache;
The reddening scars remain, and make
Confession;
Lost innocence returns no more;
We are not what we were before
Transgression.

But noble souls, through dust and heat,
Rise from disaster and defeat
The stronger,
And conscious still of the divine
Within them, lie on earth supine
No longer.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Composed for and sung by Mrs. John Wycoff, during the revival meetings at Keokuk, Iowa.

They recked not of danger, those scoffers of old,
Whom Noah was chosen to warn;
From constant transgression their hearts had grown cold,
And they answered his pleadings with scorn.
Yet daily he called, 'Oh, come, sinners, come!
Believe and prepare to embark;
Receive his kind message, and know there is room
For all who will fly to the ark.
Then come ! oh, come ! oh, come !
There's refuge alone in the ark.'

They were not persuaded ; unheeding they stood,
Unmoved by his warning and prayer,
Till the prophet passed in from the oncoming flood,
And left them to hopeless despair.
The flood-gates were open, the deluge came on,
While Heaven, offended, grew dark
They turned when too late : every foothold was gone;
And they perished in sight of the ark.

Too late, too late, too late !
They perished in sight of the ark.
O sinners ! the heralds of mercy implore ;
They cry, like the patriarch, ' Come !'
The old ship of Zion is moored on your shore;
Her captain declares there is room.
The faithful have warned, believers have prayed,
Yet you cling to the sin-deadened host;
And soon of your perishing souls will be said,
They listened, refused, and were lost,—
Were lost, were lost, were lost!
Hear, sinner, your doom—they were lost !

by Kate Harrington.

A Girl's Sin - In His Eyes

Can I forget her cruelty
Who, brown miracle, gave you me?
Or with unmoisted eyes think on
The proud surrender overgone,
(Lowlihead in haughty dress),
Of the tender tyranness?
And ere thou for my joy was given,
How rough the road to that blest heaven!
With what pangs I fore-expiated
Thy cold outlawry from her head;
How was I trampled and brought low,
Because her virgin neck was so;
How thralled beneath the jealous state
She stood at point to abdicate;
How sacrificed, before to me
She sacrificed her pride and thee;
How did she, struggling to abase
Herself to do me strange, sweet grace,
Enforce unwitting me to share
Her throes and abjectness with her;
Thence heightening that hour when her lover
Her grace, with trembling, should discover,
And in adoring trouble be
Humbled at her humility!
And with what pitilessness was I
After slain, to pacify
The uneasy manes of her shame,
Her haunting blushes!--Mine the blame:
What fair injustice did I rue
For what I--did not tempt her to?
Nor aught the judging maid might win
Me to assoil from HER sweet sin.
But nought were extreme punishment
For that beyond-divine content,
When my with-thee-first-giddied eyes
Stooped ere their due on Paradise!
O hour of consternating bliss
When I heavened me in thy kiss;
Thy softness (daring overmuch!)
Profan-ed with my licensed touch;
Worshipped, with tears, on happy knee,
Her doubt, her trust, her shyness free,
Her timorous audacity!

by Francis Thompson.

Fountain Of Never-Ceasing Grace

Fountain of never ceasing grace,
Thy saints’ exhaustless theme,
Great object of immortal praise,
Essentially supreme;
We bless Thee for the glorious fruits
Thine incarnation gives;
The righteousness which grace imputes,
And faith alone receives.

Whom heaven’s angelic host adores,
Was slaughtered for our sin;
The guilt, O Lord was wholly ours,
The punishment was Thine:
Our God in the flesh, to set us free,
Was manifested here;
And meekly bare our sins, that we
His righteousness might wear.

Imputatively guilty then
Our substitute was made,
That we the blessings might obtain
For which His blood was shed:
Himself He offered on the cross,
Our sorrows to remove;
And all He suffered was for us,
And all He did was love.

In Him we have a righteousness,
By God Himself approved;
Our rock, our sure foundation this,
Which never can be moved.
Our ransom by His death He paid,
For all His people giv’n,
The law He perfectly obeyed,
That they might enter heav’n.

As all, when Adam sinned alone,
In his transgression died,
So by the righteousness of One,
Are sinners justified,
We to Thy merit, gracious Lord,
With humblest joy submit,
Again to Paradise restored,
In Thee alone complete.

Our souls His watchful love retrieves,
Nor lets them go astray,
His righteousness to us He gives,
And takes our sins away:
We claim salvation in His right,
Adopted and forgiv’n,
His merit is our robe of light,
His death the gate of heav’n.

by Augustus Montague Toplady.

England To Ireland

Spouse whom my sword in the olden time won me,
Winning me hatred more sharp than a sword--
Mother of children who hiss at or shun me,
Curse or revile me, and hold me abhorred--
Heiress of anger that nothing assuages,
Mad for the future, and mad from the past--
Daughter of all the implacable ages,
Lo, let us turn and be lovers at last!

Lovers whom tragical sin hath made equal,
One in transgression and one in remorse.
Bonds may be severed, but what were the sequel?
Hardly shall amity come of divorce.
Let the dead Past have a royal entombing,
O'er it the Future built white for a fane!
I that am haughty from much overcoming
Sue to thee, supplicate--nay, is it vain?

Hate and mistrust are the children of blindness,--
Could we but see one another, 'twere well!
Knowledge is sympathy, charity, kindness,
Ignorance only is maker of hell.
Could we but gaze for an hour, for a minute,
Deep in each other's unfaltering eyes,
Love were begun--for that look would begin it--
Born in the flash of a mighty surprise.

Then should the ominous night-bird of Error,
Scared by a sudden irruption of day,
Flap his maleficent wings, and in terror
Flit to the wilderness, dropping his prey.
Then should we, growing in strength and in sweetness,
Fusing to one indivisible soul,
Dazzle the world with a splendid completeness,
Mightily single, immovably whole.

Thou, like a flame when the stormy winds fan it,
I, like a rock to the elements bare,--
Mixed by love's magic, the fire and the granite,
Who should compete with us, what should compare?
Strong with a strength that no fate might dissever,
One with a oneness no force could divide,
So were we married and mingled for ever,
Lover with lover, and bridegroom with bride.

by William Watson.

The City Of Sin

LO! Death hath rear'd himself a throne
In a strange city, all alone,
Far down within the dim west —
Where the good, and the bad, and the worst, and the best,
Have gone to their eternal rest.

There shrines, and palaces, and towers
Are — not like any thing of ours —
Oh no! — O no! — ours never loom
To heaven with that ungodly gloom!
Time-eaten towers that tremble not!
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

No holy rays from heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town,
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently —
Up thrones — up long-forgotten bowers
Of scultur'd ivy and stone flowers —
Up domes — up spires — up kingly halls —
Up fanes — up Babylon-like walls —
Up many a melancholy shrine
Whose entablatures intertwine
The mask — the viol — and the vine.

There open temples — open graves
Are on a level with the waves —
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye,
Not the gaily-jewell'd dead
Tempt the waters from their bed:
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass —
No swellings hint that winds may be
Upon a far-off happier sea:
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from the high towers of the town
Death looks gigantically down.

But lo! a stir is in the air!
The wave — there is a ripple there!
As if the towers had thrown aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide —
As if the turret-tops had given
A vacuum in the filmy heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow —
The very hours are breathing low —
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down, that town shall settle hence,
All Hades, from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence,
And Death to some more happy clime
Shall give his undivided time.

by Edgar Allan Poe.

The Deadliest Sin

There are not many sins when once we sift them.
In actions of evolving human souls
Striving to reach high goals
And falling backward into dust and mire,
Some element we find that seems to lift them
Above our condemnation-even higher
Into the realm of pity and compassion.
So beauteous a thing as love itself can fashion
A chain of sins; descending to desire,
It wanders into dangerous paths, and leads
To most unholy deeds,
And light-struck, walks in madness toward the night.


Wrong oft-times is an over-ripened right,
A rank weed grown from some neglected flower,
The lightning uncontrolled: flames meant for joy
And beauty, used to ravage and destroy.
For sins like these repentance can atone.
There is one sin alone
Which seems all unforgivable, because
It springs from no temptation and no need
And no desire, save to make sweet faith bleed,
And to defame God's laws.
Oh! viler than the murderer or the thief
Who slays the body and who robs the purse,
Is he who strives to kill the mind's belief
And rob it of its hope
Of life beyond this little pain-filled span.
God has no curse
Quite dark enough to punish such a man,
Who, seeing how souls grope
And suffer in this world of mighty losses,
And how hearts stagger on beneath life's crosses,
Yet strives to rob them of their staff of faith
And make them think dark death
Ends all existence; think the worshipped child
Cold in its mother's arms is but a clod
And has not gone to God;
That souls united by love undefiled
And holy can by death be torn asunder
To meet no more.
It must be true that under
This earth of ours there lies a Purgatory
For those who seek to rob grief of the glory
That shines through hope of life immortal. In
Sin's lexicon this is the vilest sin-
Needless and cruel, ugly, gaunt and mean,
Without one poor excuse on which to lean,
A vandal sin, that with no hope of gain
Finds pleasure only in another's pain.


God! though all other sins on earth persist,
Strike dumb the blatant, loud-mouthed atheist.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Tristan And Isolde. The Love Sin.

None, unless the saints above,
Knew the secret of their love;
For with calm and stately grace
Isolde held her queenly place,
Tho’ the courtiers’ hundred eyes
Sought the lovers to surprise,
Or to read the mysteries
Of a love—so rumour said
By a magic philtre fed,
Which for ever in their veins
Burn’d with love’s consuming pains.
Yet their hands would twine unseen,
In a clasp ’twere hard to sever;
And whoso watched their glances meet,
Gazing as they’d gaze for ever,

Might have marked the sudden heat
Crims’ning on each flushing cheek,
As the tell‐tale blood would speak
Of love that never should have been
The love of Tristan and his Queen.
But, what hinders that the two,
In the spring of their young life,
Love each other as they do?
Thus the tempting thoughts begin
Little recked they of the sin;
Nature joined them hand in hand,
Is not that a truer band
Than the formal name of wife?
Ah! what happy hours were theirs!
One might note them at the feast
Laughing low to loving airs,
Loving airs that pleased them best;
Or interchanging the swift glance
In the mazes of the dance.
So the sunny moments rolled,
And they wove bright threads of gold
Through the common web of life;
Never dreaming of annoy,
Or the wild world’s wicked strife;
Painting earth and heaven above
In the light of their own joy,
In the purple light of love.
Happy moments, which again
Brought sweet torments in their train:
All love’s petulance and fears,
Wayward doubts and tender tears;
Little jealousies and pride,
That can loving hearts divide:
Murmured vow and clinging kiss,
Working often bane as bliss;
All the wild, capricious changes
Through which lovers’ passion ranges.

Yet would love, in every mood,
Find Heaven’s manna for its food;
For love will grow wan and cold,
And die ere ever it is old,
That is never assailed by fears,
Or steeped in repentant tears,
Or passed through the fire like gold.
So loved Tristan and Isolde,
In youth’s sunny, golden time,
In the brightness of their prime;
Little dreaming hours would come,
Like pale shadows from the tomb,
When an open death of doom
Had been still less hard to bear,
Than the ghastly, cold despair
Of those hidden vows, whose smart
Pale the cheek, and break the heart.

by Lady Jane Wilde.

Neath the casement stood a Ritter,
Sings by night with sweetest tone:
“Thekla, dearest Thekla, listen,
Wilt thou be my bride, mine own?

“Castles have I, parks and forests,
Mountains veined with the red gold;
And a heart that pineth for thee,
With a wealth of love untold.
“I will deck my love in jewels,
Gold and pearl peril on brow and hand,
Broidered robes and costly girdles,
From the far‐off Paynim land.
“Here I hang upon the rose‐tree,
Love, a little golden ring;
Wilt thou take it? wilt thou wear it,
Love?” Thus did the Ritter sing.
Then upon his black steed mounting,
Kissed his hand and doffed his plume.
Lovely Thekla stole down gently,
Sought the gold ring in the gloom.
“Little ring, wilt thou deceive me?
Like the rose dost hide a thorn?”
As she takes it, close beside her
Sounds a ringing laugh of scorn.
And the fatal Mother, mocking,
Points her finger to the ring:
“What, my maiden! sold thy beauty
For that paltry glittering thing?
“Plucked the bauble from a rose‐tree?
Ring and rose and doom in all;
Roses bright from cheek of beauty,
Roses bright must fade and fall.
“Wilt thou follow me?” They glided
Over heath, through moor and wood,
Till beside an ancient windmill,
In the lone, dark night they stood.
All the mighty wheels were silent,
All the giant arms lay still
“Bride and wife, but never mother,
Maiden, swear, is such thy will?

“Dost swear?” “I swear!” They glided
Up the stairs and through the door,
With her wand the magic Mother
Draws a circle on the floor.
Grains of yellow corn, seven,
Takes she from a sack beside,
Draws the gold ring of her lover
From the finger of the bride.
“Seven children would have stolen
Light and beauty from thine eyes,
But as I cast the yellow corn
Through thy gold ring, each one dies.
Slowly creaked the mill, then faster
Whirled the giant arms on high;
Shuddering, hears the trembling maiden
Crushing bones, and infant’s cry.
Now there is a deathlike silence,
Thekla hears her heart alone
Again the weird one flings the corn,
Again that plaintive plantive infant’s moan.
Two—three—four—the mill goes faster,
Whirling, crushing.—Ah! those cries!
“Bride, thou’lt never be a mother;
Thy beauty’s saved—the seventh dies!”
Seven turns the mill hath taken,
Seven moans hath Thekla heard:
Then all is still. The moon from Heaven
Shines down calm upon the sward.
“Now take back thy ring in safety;
Mother’s joy or mother’s woe,
Wasting pain or fading beauty,
Maiden, thou shalt never know!
“Home, before the morning hour!”
Home in terror Thekla flies,
Shuddering, she hears behind her
Laugh of scorn, infants’ cries.

by Lady Jane Wilde.

A Christmas Hymn

O now wondrous is the story
Of our blest Redeemer's birth?
See the mighty Lord of Glory
Leaves his heaven to visit earth!

Hear with transport, every creature,
Hear the Gospel's joyful sound;
Christ appears in human nature,
In our sinful world is found;

Comes to pardon our transgression,
Like a cloud our sins to blot;
Comes to his own favour'd nation,
But his own receive him not.

If the angels who attended
To declare the Saviour's birth,
Who from heaven with songs descended
To proclaim good-will on earth:

If, in pity to our blindness,
They had brought the pardon needed,
Still Jehovah's wondrous kindness
Had our warmest hopes exceeded.

If some prophet had been sent
With Salvation's joyful news,
Who that heard the blest event
Could their warmest love refuse?

But 'twas he to whom in Heaven
Hallelujahs never cease;
He, the mighty God, was given,
Given to us a Prince of Peace.

None but he who did create us
Could redeem from sin and hell;
None but he could reinstate us
In the rank from which we fell.

Had he come, the glorious stranger,
Deck'd with all the world calls great;
Had he lived in pomp and grandeur,
Crown'd with more than royal state;

Still our tongues with praise o'erflowing,
On such boundless love would dwell;
Still our hearts with rapture glowing,
Feel what words could never tell.

But what wonder should it raise,
Thus our lowest state to borrow!
O the high mysterious ways,
God's own Son a child of sorrow!

'Twas to bring us endless pleasure,
He our suffering nature bore;
'Twas to give us heavenly treasure,
He was willing to be poor.

Come, ye rich, survey the stable
Where your infant Saviour lies;
From your full o'erflowing table
Send the hungry good supplies.

Boast not your ennobled stations,
Boast not that you're highly fed;
Jesus, hear it all ye nations,
Had not where to lay his head.

Learn of me, thus cries the Saviour,
If my kingdom you'd inherit;
Sinner, quit your proud behaviour,
Learn my meek and lowly spirit.

Come, ye servants, see your station
Freed from all reproach and shame;
He who purchased your salvation,
Bore a servant's humble name.

Come, ye poor, some comfort gather
Faint not in the race you run,
Hard the lot your gracious Father
Gave his dear, his only Son.

Think, that if your humbler stations,
Less of worldly good bestow,
You escape those strong temptations,
Which from wealth and grandeur flow.

See your Saviour is ascended!
See he looks with pity down!
Trust him, all will soon be mended,
Bear his cross, you'll share his crown.

by Hannah More.

A Girls's Sin - In Her Eyes

Cross child! red, and frowning so?
'I, the day just over,
Gave a lock of hair to--no!
How DARE you say, my lover?'

He asked you?--Let me understand;
Come, child, let me sound it!
'Of course, he WOULD have asked it, and--
And so--somehow--he--found it.

'He told it out with great loud eyes--
Men have such little wit!
His sin I ever will chastise
Because I gave him it.

'Shameless in me the gift, alas!
In him his open bliss:
But for the privilege he has
A thousand he shall miss!

'His eyes, where once I dreadless laughed,
Call up a burning blot:
I hate him, for his shameful craft
That asked by asking not!'

Luckless boy! and all for hair
He never asked, you said?
'Not just--but then he gazed--I swear
He gazed it from my head!

'His silence on my cheek like breath
I felt in subtle way;
More sweet than aught another saith
Was what he did not say.

'He'll think me vanquished, for this lapse,
Who should be above him;
Perhaps he'll think me light; perhaps--
Perhaps he'll think I--love him!

'Are his eyes conscious and elate,
I hate him that I blush;
Or are they innocent, still I hate--
They mean a thing's to hush.

'Before he nought amiss could do,
Now all things show amiss;
'Twas all my fault, I know that true,
But all my fault was his.

'I hate him for his mute distress,
'Tis insult he should care!
Because my heart's all humbleness,
All pride is in my air.

'With him, each favour that I do
Is bold suit's hallowing text;
Each gift a bastion levelled, to
The next one and the next.

'Each wish whose grant may him befall
Is clogged by those withstood;
He trembles, hoping one means all,
And I, lest perhaps it should.

'Behind me piecemeal gifts I cast,
My fleeing self to save;
And that's the thing must go at last,
For that's the thing he'd have.

'My lock the enforc-ed steel did grate
To cut; its root-thrills came
Down to my bosom. It might sate
His lust for my poor shame!

'His sifted dainty this should be
For a score ambrosial years!
But his too much humility
Alarums me with fears.

'My gracious grace a breach he counts
For graceless escalade;
And, though he's silent ere he mounts,
My watch is not betrayed.

'My heart hides from my soul he's sweet:
Ah dread, if he divine!
One touch, I might fall at his feet,
And he might rise from mine.

'To hear him praise my eyes' brown gleams
Was native, safe delight;
But now it usurpation seems,
Because I've given him right.

'Before I'd have him not remove,
Now would not have him near;
With sacrifice I called on Love,
And the apparition's Fear.'

Foolish to give it!--'Twas my whim,
When he might parted be,
To think that I should stay by him
In a little piece of me.

'He always said my hair was soft--
What touches he will steal!
Each touch and look (and he'll look oft)
I almost thought I'd feel.

'And then, when first he saw the hair,
To think his dear amazement!
As if he wished from skies a star,
And found it in his casement.

'He's kiss the lock--and I had toyed
With dreamed delight of this:
But ah, in proof, delight was void--
I could not SEE his kiss!'

So, fond one, half this agony
Were spared, which my hand hushes,
Could you have played, Sweet, the sweet spy,
And blushed not for your blushes!

by Francis Thompson.

The Foolish Traveller; Or, A Good Inn Is A Bad Home

There was a Prince of high degree,
As great and good as Prince could be;
Much power and wealth were in his hand,
With Lands and Lordships at command.

One son, a favourite son, he had,
An idle, thoughtless kind of lad;
Whom, spite of all his follies past,
He meant to make his heir at last.

The son escaped to foreign lands,
And broke his gracious Sire's commands;
Far, as he fancied, from his sight,
In each low joy he took delight.

The youth, detesting peace and quiet,
Indulged in vice, expense, and riot;
Of each wild pleasure rashly tasted,
Till health declined, and substance wasted.

The tender Sire, to pity prone,
Promised to pardon what was done;
And, would he certain terms fulfil,
He should receive a kingdom still.

The youth the
pardon
little minded,
So much his sottish soul was blinded;
But though he mourn'd no past transgression,
He liked the future rich possession.

He liked the kingdom when obtain'd,
But not the terms on which 'twas gain'd:
He hated pain and self-denial,
Chose the reward, but shunn'd the trial.

He knew his father's power how great,
How glorious too the promised state!
At length resolves no more to roam,
But straight to seek his father's home.

His Sire had sent a friend to say,
He must be cautious on his way;
Told him what road he must pursue,
And always keep his home in view.

The thoughtless youth set out indeed,
But soon he slacken'd in his speed;
For every trifle by the way
Seduced his idle heart astray.

By every casual impulse sway'd,
On every slight pretence he stay'd;
To each, to all, his passions bend,
He quite forgets his journey's end.

For every sport, for every song,
He halted as he pass'd along:
Caught by each idle sight he saw,
He'd loiter e'en to pick a straw.

Whate'er was present seized his soul,
A feast, a show, a brimming bowl;
Contented with this vulgar lot,
His father's house he quite forgot.

Those slight refreshments by the way,
Which were but meant his strength to stay,
So sunk his soul in sloth and sin,
He look'd no farther than his Inn.

His father's friend would oft appear
And sound the
promise
in his ear;
Oft would he rouse him, 'Sluggard, come!
This is thy Inn, and not thy home.'

Displeased he answers, 'Come what will,
Of present bliss I'll take my fill;
In vain you plead, in vain I hear,
Those joys are distant, these are near.'

Thus perish'd, lost to worth and truth,
In sight of home this hapless youth;
While beggars, foreigners, and poor,
Enjoy'd the father's boundless store.

Application.

My Fable, Reader, speaks to thee,
In God this bounteous father see;
And in his thoughtless offspring trace,
The sinful, wayward human race.

The friend, the generous father sent,
To rouse, and to reclaim him, meant;
The faithful minister you'll find,
Who calls the wandering, warns the blind.

Reader, awake! this youth you blame -
Are not
you
doing just the same?
Mindless your comforts are but given
To help you on your way to heaven.

The pleasures which beguile the road,
The flowers with which your path is strew'd;
To these your whole desires you bend,
And quite forget your journey's end.

The meanest toys your soul entice,
A feast, a song, a game at dice;
Charm'd with your present paltry lot,
Eternity is quite forgot.

Then listen to a warning friend,
Who bids you mind your journey's end;
A wandering pilgrim here you roam;
This world's your
Inn
, the next your
Home
.

by Hannah More.

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