Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Hymn: ‘Lord, when I quit this earthly stage’
By Isaac Watts (1674–1748)
LORD, when I quit this earthly stage,
Where shall I fly but to thy breast?
For I have sought no other home,
For I have learned no other rest.
I cannot live contented here,        5
Without some glimpses of thy face;
And heaven without thy presence there
Would be a dark and tiresome place.
When earthly cares engross the day,
And hold my thoughts aside from thee,        10
The shining hours of cheerful light
Are long and tedious years to me.
And if no evening visit’s paid
Between my Saviour and my soul,
How dull the night! how sad the shade!        15
How mournfully the minutes roll!
My God! and can a humble child
That loves thee with a flame so high,
Be ever from thy face exiled,
Without the pity of thy eye?        20
Impossible! for thine own hands
Have tied my heart so fast to thee;
And in thy book the promise stands
That where thou art thy friends must be.

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