15. A Thanksgiving

"Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me."

LORD, in this dust Thy sovereign voice
        First quicken'd love divine;
I am all Thine,—Thy care and choice,
        My very praise is Thine.

I praise Thee, while Thy providence
        In childhood frail I trace,
For blessings given, ere dawning sense
        Could seek or scan Thy grace;

Blessings in boyhood's marvelling hour,
        Bright dreams, and fancyings strange;
Blessings, when reason's awful power
        Gave thought a bolder range; {46}

Blessings of friends, which to my door
        Unask'd, unhoped, have come;
And, choicer still, a countless store
        Of eager smiles at home.

Yet, Lord, in memory's fondest place
        I shrine those seasons sad,
When, looking up, I saw Thy face
        In kind austereness clad.

I would not miss one sigh or tear,
        Heart-pang, or throbbing brow;
Sweet was the chastisement severe,
        And sweet its memory now.

Yes! let the fragrant scars abide,
        Love-tokens in Thy stead,
Faint shadows of the spear-pierced side
        And thorn-encompass'd head.

And such Thy tender force be still,
        When self would swerve or stray,
Shaping to truth the froward will
        Along Thy narrow way. {47}

Deny me wealth; far, far remove
        The lure of power or name;
Hope thrives in straits, in weakness love,
        And faith in this world's shame.

October 20, 1829.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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