Why should my spirit cleave to earth,
This nest of worms, this vile abode?
Why thus forget her nobler birth,
Nor wish to trace the heavenly road?
How barren of sincere delight,
Are all the fairest scenes below!
Though beauteous colours charm the sight,
They only varnish real woe.
Were I to mount the flying wind,
And search the wide creation round,
There’s nothing here to suit the mind;
On earth no solid joy is found.
Oh! could my weary spirit rise,
And panting with intense desire,
Reach the bright mansions of the skies,
And mix among the blissful choir:
How should I look, with pitying eye,
On this low world of gloomy care,
And wonder, how my soul could lie
Wrapp’d up in shades and darkness there!
Say, happy natives of the sky,
What is it makes your Heaven above?
You dwell beneath your father’s eye,
And feast for ever on his love.
My God, thy presence can impart
A glimpse of Heaven to earth and night;
O smile, and bless my mournful heart,
Sweet foretaste of sincere delight.
Then shall my soul contented stay
’Till my Redeemer calls me home:
Yet let me oft with transport say,
‘Come, O my Lord, my Saviour, come.’
Collection of Hymns Adapted to Public Worship, no. 193 (all eight stanzas); Poems, 1780, vol. 1, pp. 112-13; MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regents Park College, STE 3/1/1 no. 60; also Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 1, pp. 109-10.