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The Search

From the same.

Whither, O whither art Thou fled,

My Saviour and my Love?

My searches are my daily bread,

Yet unsuccessful prove.

My knees on earth, on heaven mine eye

Is fix’d; and yet the sphere,

And yet the centre both deny

That Thou, my God, art there.

Yet can I mark that herbs below

Their fragrant greens display,

As if to meet Thee they did know,

While wither’d I decay.

Yet can I mark how stars above

With conscious lustre shine,

Their glories borrowing from Thy love,

While I in darkness pine.

I sent a sigh to seek Thee out,

Drawn from my heart in pain,

Wing’d like an arrow; but my scout

Return’d, alas! in vain.

Another from my endless store

I turn’d into a groan,

Because the search was dumb before

But all, alas! was one.

Where is my God? What secret place

Still holds, and hides Thee still?

What covert dares eclipse Thy face?—

Is it Thy awful will?

O, let not that Thy presence bound:

Rather let walls of brass,

Let seas and mountains gird Thee round,

And I through all will pass.

Thy will so vast a distance is,

Remotest points combine,

East touches west, compared to this,

And heaven and hell conjoin.

Take then these bars, these lengths away,

Turn and restore my soul

Thy love omnipotent display,

Approach! and make me whole.

When Thou, my Lord, my God art nigh,

Nor life, nor death can move,

Nor deepest hell, nor powers on high

Can part me from Thy love.

For as Thy absence passes far

The widest distance known,

Thy presence brings my soul so near,

That Thou and I are one!


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