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CIX

TO THE HOLY BIBLE

O Book! Life's guide! how shall we part,

And thou so long seized111111seized, legal term for possessed of of my heart;

Take this last kiss; and let me weep

True thanks to thee before I sleep.

Thou wert the first put in my hand

When yet I could not understand,

And daily didst my young eyes lead

To letters, till I learnt to read.

But as rash youths, when once grown strong,

Fly from their nurses to the throng,

Where they new consorts choose, and stick

To those till either hurt or sick;

So with that first light gain'd from thee

Ran I in chase of vanity,

Cried112112cried, cried up dross for gold, and never thought

My first cheap books had all I sought.

Long reign'd this vogue; and thou, cast by,

With meek, dumb looks didst woo mine eye,

85

And oft left open, would'st convey

A sudden and most searching ray

Into my soul, with whose quick touch

Refining still113113See Note, I struggled much.

By this mild art of love at length

Thou overcam'st my sinful strength,

And having brought me home, didst there

Shew me that pearl I sought elsewhere,--

Gladness, and peace, and hope, and love,

The secret favours of the Dove114114the Dove, the Holy Spirit;

Her quickening kindness, smiles and kisses,

Exalted pleasures, crowning blisses,

Fruition, union, glory, life,

Thou didst lead to, and still all strife.

Living, thou wert my soul's sure ease,

And dying mak'st me go in peace:--

Thy next effects no tongue can tell;

Farewell, O book of GOD! farewell!


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