Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
An Hymn for Seriousness
By John Wesley (1703–1791)
THOU God of glorious majesty,
To Thee against myself, to Thee
  A worm of earth I cry,
An half-awakened child of man,
An heir of endless bliss or pain,        5
  A sinner born to die.
Lo! on a narrow neck of land,
’Twixt two unbounded seas I stand
  Secure, insensible: 1
A point of life, a moment’s space        10
Removes me to that heavenly place,
  Or shuts me up in hell.
O God, mine inmost soul convert,
And deeply on my thoughtful heart
  Eternal things impress,        15
Give me to feel their solemn weight,
And tremble on the brink of fate,
  And wake to righteousness.
Before me place in dread array
The pomp of that tremendous day,        20
  When Thou with clouds shalt come
To judge the nations at Thy bar:
And tell me, Lord, shall I be there
  To meet a joyful doom?
Be this my one great business here,        25
With serious industry, and fear,
  My future bliss to insure,
Thine utmost counsel to fulfil,
And suffer all Thy righteous will,
  And to the end endure.        30
Then, Saviour, then my soul receive,
Transported from the vale, to live
  And reign with Thee above,
Where faith is sweetly lost in sight,
And hope in full supreme delight,        35
  And everlasting love.
Note 1. Said to have been suggested by a rocky isthmus at the Land’s End in Cornwall. [back]

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