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Hymn to Contempt

Welcome, Contempt! stern, faithful guide,

Unpleasing, healthful food!

Hail, pride-sprung antidote of pride;

Hail, evil turn’d to good!

Thee when with awful pomp array’d

Ill-judging mortals see,

Perverse they fly with coward speed,

To guilt they fly from thee.

Yet if one haply longing stands

To choose a nobler part,

Ardent from sin’s ensnaring bands

To vindicate his heart:

Present to end the doubtful strife,

Thy aid he soon shall feel;

Confirm’d by thee, though warm in life,

Bid the vain world farewell.

Through thee he treads the shining way

That saints and martyrs trod,

Shakes off the frailty of his clay,

And wings his soul for God.

His portion thou, he burns no more,

With fond desire to please;

The fierce, distracting conflict’s o’er,

And all his thoughts are peace.

Sent by Almighty Pity down,

To thee alone ’tis given

With glorious infamy to crown

The favourites of Heaven.

With thee Heaven’s favourite Son, when made

Incarnate, deign’d to abide;

To thee He meekly bow’d His head,

He bow’d His head, and died.

And shall I still the cup decline,

His sufferings disesteem,

Disdain to make this portion mine

When sanctified by Him?

Or, firm through Him and undismay’d,

Thy sharpest darts abide?

Sharp as the thorns that tore His head,

The spear that pierced His side.

Yes; since with thee my lot is cast,

I bless my God’s decree,

Embrace with joy what He embraced,

And live and die with thee!

So when before the angelic host

To each his lot is given,

Thy name shall be in glory lost,

And mine be found in heaven!


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