Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Verses on Various Occasions.
II. A Thanksgiving
By John Henry Newman (1801–1890)
 
Oxford, October 20, 1829

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        5
    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        10
Blessings, when reason’s awful power
    Gave thought a bolder range;
 
Blessings of friends, which to my door
    Unask’d, unhoped, have come
And, choicer still, a countless store        15
    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.        20
 
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,        25
    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,        30
Shaping to truth the froward will
    Along Thy narrow way.
 
Deny me wealth; far, far remove
    The lure of power or name;
Hope thrives in straits, in weakness love,        35
    And faith in this world’s shame.
 
 
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