Of all the joys we mortals know

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This is a poem by Isaac Watts, from Horae Lyricae, entitled Love to Christ, Present or Absent.

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Text and translations

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1. Of all the joys we mortals know,
Jesus, Thy love exceeds the rest;
Love, the best blessing here below,
And nearest image of the blest.

2. Sweet are my thoughts, and soft my cares,
When the celestial flame I feel;
In all my hopes, and all my fears,
There's something kind and pleasing still.

3. While I am held in His embrace,
There's not a thought attempts to rove;
Each smile he wears upon his face
Fixes, and charms, and tires my love.

 

4. He speaks, and straight immortal joys
Run through my ears, and reach my heart!
My soul all melts at that dear voice,
And pleasure shoots through every part.

5. If He withdraw a moment's space,
He leaves a sacred pledge behind;
Here in this breast his image stays,
The grief and comfort of my mind.

6. While of his absence I complain,
And long, and weep, as lovers do;
There's a strange pleasure in the pain,
And tears have their own sweetness too.

 

7. When round His courts by day I rove,
Or ask the watchmen of the night
For some kind tidings of my love,
His very name creates delight.

8. Jesus, my God ! yet rather come;
Mine eyes would dwell upon Thy face;
Tis best to see my Lord at home,
And feel the presence of His grace.

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