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I sought Thee round about, O Thou my God!
In thine abode.
I said unto the Earth "Speake, art thou He?"
She answer'd me,
"I am not."—I enquired of creatures all,
Contain'd therein;—they with one voice proclaime,
That none amongst them challenged such a name.
I askt the seas, and all the deeps below,
My God to know.
I askt the reptiles, and whatever is
In the abysse;
Even from the shrimpe to the leviathan
But in those deserts which no line can sound,
The God I sought for was not to be found.
I askt the aire, if that were He? but, lo!
It told me No.
I from towering eagle to the wren,
If any feather'd fowle 'mongst them were such?
But they all, much
Offended with my question, in full quire,
Answered,—"to finde thy God thou must look higher."
I askt the heavens, sun, moon and stars, but they
Said "We obey
The God thou seek'st."—I askt, what eye or eare
Could see or heare;
What in the world I might descry or know
—With a unanimous voice, all these things said,
"We are not God, but we by Him were made."
I askt the world's great universal masse,
If that God was?
Which with a mighty and strong voice reply'd,
"I am not He, O man! for know that I,
By Him on High,
Was fashion'd first of nothing, thus instated,
And sway'd by Him, by whom I was created."
A scrutiny within myself I, than,
Even thus began:—
"O man, what art thou?"—What more could I say,
Than dust and clay?
Fraile, mortal, fading, a meere puffe, a blast,
That cannot last;
Enthroned to-day, to-morrow in an urne;
Form'd from that earth to which I must returne.
I askt myself, what this great God might be
That fashion'd me?
I answer'd—the all-potent, solely' immense,
Unspeakable, inscrutable, eternall,
Lord over all;
The only terrible, strong, just and true,
Who hath no end, and no beginning knew.
He is the well of life, for He doth give
To all that live,
Both breath and being: He is the Creator
Both of the water,
Earth, aire, and fire. Of all things that subsist,
He hath the list;
Of all the heavenly host, or what earth claimes,
He keeps the scrole, and calls them by their names.
And now, my God, by thine illumining grace,
Thy glorious face,
(So far forth as it may discover'd be,)
Methinks I see;
And though invisible and infinite,—
To human sight,
Thou, in thy mercy, justice, truth, appearest;
In which to our weake senses Thou comest nearest.
O make us apt to seeke, and quicke to finde,
Thou God, most kinde!
Give us love, hope and faith in Thee to trust,
Thou God, most just!
Remit all our offences, we intreat;
Most Good, most Great!
Grant that our willing, though unworthy quest,
May, through thy grace, admit us 'mongst the blest.