Encouraged by thy word
Of promise to the poor;
Behold, a beggar, LORD,
Waits at thy mercy’s door!
No hand, no heart, O LORD, but thine,
Can help or pity wants like mine.
The beggar’s usual plea
Relief from men to gain,
If offered unto thee,
I know thou would’st disdain:
And pleas which move thy gracious ear,
Are such as men would scorn to hear.
I have no right to say
That though I now am poor,
Yet once there was a day
When I possessed more:
Thou know’st that from my very birth,
I’ve been the poorest wretch on earth.
Nor can I dare profess,
As beggars often do,
Though great is my distress,
My wants have been but few:
If thou shouldst leave my soul to starve,
It would be what I well deserve.
’Twere folly to pretend
I never begged before;
Or if thou now befriend,
I’ll trouble thee no more:
Thou often hast relieved my pain,
And often I must come again.
Though crumbs are much too good
For such a dog as I;
No less than children’s food
My soul can satisfy:
O do not frown and bid me go,
I must have all thou canst bestow.
Nor can I willing be
Thy bounty to conceal
From others, who like me,
Their wants and hunger feel:
I’ll tell them of thy mercy’s store,
And try to send a thousand more.
Thy thoughts, thou only wise!
Our thoughts and ways transcend,
Far as the arched skies
Above the earth extend:
Such pleas as mine men would not bear,
But God receives a beggar’s prayer.