It grieves me, Lord, it grieves me sore

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General information

This is a poem by Isaac Watts, from Horae Lyricae, Book 1, 1706, entitled Self-Consecration.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. It grieves me, Lord, it grieves me sore,
That I have lived to Thee no more,
And wasted half my days ;
My inward powers shall burn and flame
With zeal and passion for Thy name:
I would not speak but for my God,
Nor move but to his praise.

2. What are my eyes, but aids to see
The glories of the Deity
Inscribed with beams of light
On flowers and stars? Lord, I behold
The shining azure, green, and gold;
But when I try to read Thy name,
A dimness veils my sight.

 

3. Mine ears are raised when Virgil sings
Sicilian swains or Trojan kings,
And drink the music in:
Why should the trumpet's brazen voice,
Or oaten reed, awake my joys,
And yet my heart so stupid lie
When sacred hymns begin?

4. Change me, O God; my flesh shall be
An instrument of song to Thee,
And Thou the notes inspire:
My tongue shall keep the heavenly chime,
My cheerful pulse shall beat the time,
And sweet variety of sound
Shall in thy praise conspire.

 

5. The dearest nerve about my heart,
Should it refuse to bear a part
With my melodious breath,
I'd tear away the vital chord,
A bloody victim to my Lord,
And live without that impious string,
Or show my zeal in death.

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