[Page 373]


1 MY God! would that, from earthly trammels free,
2 My thoughts could win their upward way to thee,
3 And there a while in lofty regions prove,
4 The purifying glow of holy love!
5 The solemn dome of night is o'er my head,
6 Where countless stars in grand array are spread
7 Thy mighty host, that to our wondering eyes
8 One maze of glory is; while sombre lies
9 Beneath its vasty span the darkened face
10 Of many a land, where many a motley race,
11 With all their worldly care, in sleep are lapt.
12 O, might my soul, in adoration rapt,
13 Her high concentered thoughts still raise to thee,
14 With steady power! Alas, this may not be!
[Page 374]
15 My thoughts are twilight birds, in seasons rare,
16 That skim and rise, and flit in nether air;
17 That wheel, and turn, and cross, and soar, and swoop,
18 With seeming bootless speed, then feebly droop
19 Their weary wings, which may no more sustain
20 Such flight, and hie to murky haunts again.
21 My God, who knowest the creature thou hast made,
22 Pity my weakness, nor as sin be laid
23 Upon my head, this feebleness of mind;
24 And if sublimer thoughts I may not bind,
25 As the abiding treasure of my heart
26 Inmates, who rarely from their cell depart,
27 Vouchsafe such grace, that many a transient notion
28 May oft within me kindle true devotion;
29 And, moving as a meteor of the night,
30 Be for a passing, glorious moment bright,
31 A moment, uttering in words of fire,
32 "Thou art our Mighty Lord, our good and bounteous Sire."


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): HYMN.
Genres: hymn

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Source edition

Baillie, Joanna, 1762-1851. Fugitive Verses. By Joanna Baillie, author of “Dramas on the Passions,“ etc. London: Edward Moxon, Dover Street. MDCCCXL., 1840, pp. 373-374.  (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [40.17].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Joanna Baillie