Occasioned by hearing a Discourse from Titus 2d and 13 (mid-1790s)

Ye awful Glories, shall these Eyes behold

Your dazzling Radiance – these weak Powers perceive

What mortal Language never can unfold,

What human Intellect can ne’er conceive?


Will not the sight annihilate? and sink 

Creatures to nothing in that dreadful Hour?

Can human frailty live and feel and think

Beneath the effulgence of Almighty Power?


Amazing thought! Yes, strengthen’d to sustain,

Remove incessant Horror past a name, 

His frown whose frown inflicts eternal Pain,

The worm that dies not and the quenchless flame.


Nor shall the happy Minds on whom his Love

Beams its full Radiance with their bliss expire,

Successive Ages shall that bliss improve 

And still new Rapture and new Praise inspire.


Ye little Trifles of this present Hour,

Rapture or Agony, Darkness or Light,

Ye once dread Objects, how ye lose your power 

And shrink to less than nothing in my sight.


Yet e’er this fleeting Dream call’d [Life] is past

And the sweet Sounds of Hope are heard no more,

Catch every moment, it may be thy last,

And mercy, mercy Oh my Soul, implore.

Text: Steele Collection, 5/3, Angus Library, Regent’s Park College; Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 3, p. 155.