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William Rees (Hiraethog)

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 111 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.

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