The hymn-poem of which a version is given
below gains an additional interest from the undertone
of personal experience easily recognized
among the broader movements of a universal
theme. its dramatic cast, however, renders it,
like his Psalter, more useful for private devotion
than for public worship. It has found its way into
most of the later hymn-books of Wales, and is known far and wide.
The Search of a Tired Soul for Rest.
I went searching through creation
For my soul a place of rest--
Disappointment and vexation
Everywhere repaid my quest.
From the world and flesh to tempt me
Came a thousand promised joys;
But I found them false and empty,
Lying dreams and gilded toys.
Then I asked the white and holy
Angel--thousands of the skies--
'With a sinner poor and lowly
Have you one will sympathize?'
Gabriel answered my appealing--
'Not with us; no, there is none
That can have a fellow-feeling
With a soul unclean--undone!
Hope in utter darkness vanished,
And I cried in agony--
'All deliverance is banished!
It is over now with me!'
Stormy clouds on Sinai setting,
And my spirit trembling sore--
Oh! there can.be no forgetting
Of that anguish evermore!
On the throne of high possession,
Through my tears at last I see,
In His robes of intercession,
Him who bowed the head for me:
'There He is!' my soul exclaimèd,
'I can read it in His face--
He will never be ashamèd
To receive me in His grace.'
To His throne my soul proceeded,
Deigning at His feet to fall;
And for love and pardon pleaded
Through the blood that saveth all:
'What?'--I mused--'Should I conceal it,
All this grief and broken cheer?
Hide the wound while He can heal it?
It is Christ!--why need I fear?'
When I opened, slowly, sadly,
My dark bosom, sin-oppressed,
Then He opened quickly, gladly,
For my shelter His own breast:
All my burden He removèd,
Yea, He gave me full release;
With the smile of my Belovèd
Came the joy of perfect peace.
Body, spirit, now I owe Him,
I belong to Him henceforth--
Oh, that I might live to show Him
Everywhere in all His worth!
When I join the host surrounding
His serene, eternal throne,
I shall sing of grace abounding,
And the song shall be His own.