Watching Unto God In The Night Season
Sleep at last has fled these eyes,
Nor do I regret his flight,
More alert my spirits rise,
And my heart is free and light.
Nature silent all around,
Not a single witness near;
God as soon as sought is found;
And the flame of love burns clear.
Interruption, all day long,
Checks the current of my joys;
Creatures press me with a throng,
And perplex me with their noise.
Undisturbed I muse all night,
On the first Eternal Fair;
Nothing there obstructs delight,
Love is renovated there.
Life, with its perpetual stir,
Proves a foe to love and me;
Fresh entanglements occur--
Comes the night, and sets me free.
Never more, sweet sleep, suspend
My enjoyments, always new:
Leave me to possess my friend;
Other eyes and hearts subdue.
Hush the world, that I may wake
To the taste of pure delights;
Oh the pleasures I partake--
God, the partner of my nights!
David, for the selfsame cause,
Night preferred to busy day;
Hearts whom heavenly beauty draws,
Wish the glaring sun away.
Sleep, self–lovers, is for you--
Souls that love celestial know
Fairer scenes by night can view
Than the sun could ever show.
Watching Unto God In The Night Season (3)
Night! how I love thy silent shades,
My spirits they compose;
The bliss of heaven my soul pervades,
In spite of all my woes.
While sleep instils her poppy dews
In every slumbering eye,
I watch to meditate and muse,
In blest tranquillity.
And when I feel a God immense
With every proof he can dispense,
His favour to my heart;
My native meanness I lament,
Though most divinely filled
With all the ineffable content
That Deity can yield.
His purpose and his course he keeps;
Treads all my reasonings down;
Commands me out of nature's deeps,
And hides me in his own.
When in the dust, its proper place,
Our pride of heart we lay;
'Tis then a deluge of his grace
Bears all our sins away.
Thou whom I serve, and whose I am,
Whose influence from on high
Refines, and still refines my flame,
And makes my fetters fly;
How wretched is the creature's state
Who thwarts thy gracious power;
Crushed under sin's enormous weight,
Increasing every hour!
The night, when passed entire with thee,
How luminous and clear!
Then sleep has no delights for me,
Lest thou should'st disappear.
My Saviour! occupy me still
In this secure recess;
Let reason slumber if she will,
My joy shall not be less.
Let reason slumber out the night;
But if thou deign to make
My soul the abode of truth and light,
Ah, keep my heart awake!
Watching Unto God In The Night Season (2)
Season of my purest pleasure,
Sealer of observing eyes!
When, in larger, freer measure,
I can commune with the skies;
While, beneath thy shade extended,
Weary man forgets his woes,
I, my daily trouble ended,
Find, in watching, my repose.
Silence all around prevailing,
Nature hushed in slumber sweet,
No rude noise mine ears assailing,
Now my God and I can meet:
Universal nature slumbers,
And my soul partakes the calm,
Breathes her ardour out in numbers,
Plaintive song or lofty psalm.
Now my passion, pure and holy,
Shines and burns without restraint;
Which the day's fatigue and folly
Cause to languish, dim and faint:
Charming hours of relaxation!
How I dread the ascending sun!
Surely, idle conversation
Is an evil matched by none.
Worldly prate and babble hurt me;
Neither teach me nor divert me;
I have ears for none but love.
Me they rude esteem, and foolish,
Hearing my absurd replies;
I have neither art's fine polish,
Nor the knowledge of the wise.
Simple souls, and unpolluted
By conversing with the great,
Have a mind and taste ill suited
To their dignity and state;
All their talking, reading, writing,
Are but talents misapplied;
Infants' prattle I delight in,
Nothing human choose beside.
'Tis the secret fear of sinning
Checks my tongue, or I should say,
When I see the night beginning,
I am glad of parting day:
Love this gentle admonition
Whispers soft within my breast;
'Choice befits not thy condition,
Acquiescence suits thee best.'
Henceforth, the repose and pleasure
Night affords me I resign;
And thy will shall be the measure,
Wisdom infinite! of mine:
Wishing is but inclination
Quarrelling with thy decrees;
Wayward nature finds the occasion--
'Tis her folly and disease.
Night, with its sublime enjoyments,
Now no longer will I choose;
Nor the day, with its employments,
Irksome as they seem, refuse;
Lessons of a God's inspiring
Neither time nor place impedes;
From our wishing and desiring
Our unhappiness proceeds.
On The Queen's Visit To London, The Night Of The 17th March 1789
When, long sequestered from his throne,
George took his seat again,
By right of worth, not blood alone
Entitled here to reign;
Then, Loyalty, with all his lamps
New trimmed, a gallant show,
Chasing the darkness and the damps,
Set London in a glow.
'Twas hard to tell of streets or squares,
Which formed the chief display,
These most resembling clustered stars,
Those the long milky way.
Bright shone the roofs, the domes, the spires,
And rockets flew, self-driven,
To hang their momentary fires,
Amid the vault of Heaven.
So, fire with water to compare,
The ocean serves on high
Up-spouted by a whale in air,
To express unwieldly joy.
Had all the pageants of the world
In one procession joined,
And all the banners been unfurled
That heralds e'er designed;
For no such sight had England's Queen
Forsaken her retreat,
Where, George recovered made a scene
Sweet always, doubly sweet.
Yet glad she came that night to prove,
A witness undescried,
How much the object of her love
Was loved by all beside.
Darkness the skies had mantled o'er
In aid of her design,----
Darkness, O Queen! ne'er called before
To veil a deed of thine.
On borrowed wheels away she flies,
Resolved to be unknown,
And gratify no curious eyes
That night, except her own.
Arrived, a night like noon she sees,
And hears the million hum;
As all by instinct, like the bees,
Had known their soverign come,
Pleased she beheld aloft portrayed
On many a splendid wall,
Emblems of health, and heavenly aid,
And George the theme of all.
Unlike the enigmatic line,
So difficult to spell,
Which shook Belshazzar at his wine,
The night his city fell.
Soon, watery grew her eyes and dim,
But with a joyful tear,
None else, except in prayer for him,
George ever drew from her.
It was a scene in every part
Like those in fable feigned,
And seemed by some magician's art
Created and sustained.
But other magic there, she knew,
Had been exerted none,
To raise such wonders in her view,
Save love of George alone.
That cordial thought her spirits cheered,
And through the cumbrous throng,
Not else unworthy to be feared,
Conveyed her calm along.
So, ancient poets say, serene
The sea-maid rides the waves,
And fearless of the billowy scene
Her peaceful bosom laves.
With more than astronomic eyes
She viewed the sparkling show;
One Georgian star adorns the skies,
She myriads found below.
Yet let the glories of a night
Like that, once seen, suffice;
Heaven grant us no such future sight,
Such previous woe the price!