Yet, gracious God

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This is a poem by Isaac Watts, written 1694, published 1706, entitled Hope in Darkness. It has an irregular meter.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. Yet, gracious God,
Yet will I seek thy smiling face;
What though a short eclipse his beauties shroud;
And bar the influence of his rays,
'Tis but a morning vapor, or a summer cloud.
He is my sun, though he refuse to shine;
Though for a moment he depart,
I dwell for ever on his heart,
For ever he on mine.
Early before the light arise,
I'll spring a thought away to God:
The passion of my heart and eyes
Shall shout a thousand groans and sighs;
A thousand glances strike the skies,
The floor of his abode.

2. Dear Sovereign, hear thy servant pray;
Bend the blue heavens, eternal King;
Downward thy cheerful graces bring;
Or shall I breathe in vain, and pant my hours away?
Break, glorious brightness, through the gloomy veil,
Look how the armies of despair
Aloft their sooty banners rear
Round my poor captive soul, and dare
Pronounce me prisoner of hell!
But thou, my sun, and thou my shield,
Wilt save me in the bloody field ;
Break, glorious brightness, shoot one glimmering ray;
One glance of thine creates a day,
And drives the troops of hell away.

3. Happy the times! but, ah! the times are gone,
When wondrous power and radiant grace
Round the tall arches of the temple shone,
And mingled their victorious rays.
Sin, with all its ghastly train,
Fled to the deeps of death again,
And smiling triumph sat on every face:
Our spirits, raptured with the sight,
Were all devotion, all delight,
And loud hosannas founded the Redeemer's praise.
Here could I say,
(And point the place whereon I stood)
Here I enjoyed a visit half the day
From my descending God:
I was regaled with heavenly fare,
With fruit and manna from above;
Divinely sweet the blessings were
While mine Emmanuel was there;
And o'er my head
The Conqueror spread
The banner of his love.

4. Then, why my heart sunk down so low?
Why do my eyes dissolve and flow,
And hopeless nature mourn?
Review, my soul, those pleasing days;
Read his unalterable grace
Through the displeasure of his face,
And wait a kind return.
A father's love may raise a frown
To chide the child, or prove the son,
But love will ne'er destroy;
The hour of darkness is but short,
Faith be thy life, and patience thy support,
The morning brings the joy.

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