Meditative Poems

1. Meditation on Psalm XCI.

’Tis not Jehovah fails thee, ’tis thine heart: –

The God of Jacob, still thy help shall be;

The everlasting mountains may depart,

But not one word of all he promised thee.

Though midnight darkness should around thee close,

Let not her terror make thy soul afraid.

’Twill be but like thy curtain of repose,

Till morning scatters every fearful shade.

And daylight arrows, like the shafts of death,

Shall fall around thee, without power to harm; 10

And safely thou shalt draw thy mortal breath,

Beneath the shield of God’s uplifted arm.

The raging lion at thy glance shall cow’r;

The deadly serpent at thy foot shall die;

If thou wilt make thy hiding-place, – thy tow’r, –

Thy habitation, – with the Lord on high.

Before thee shall go forth his angel band;

“Thou shalt not dash thy foot against a stone;”

“Thou shalt not wander in the weary land;

Thou shalt not walk the wilderness alone. 20

In sorrow’s hour to Him thy woes confide,

And thy glad heart shall soon of triumph tell;

Beneath the shadow of his wing abide,

And in the secret of his presence dwell.

2. [O poor ambition! – vain, ignoble boast]

“Let us lay aside every weight – and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” – Hebrews xii. 1.[ii]

O poor ambition! – vain, ignoble boast,

Of the proud racer at the Grecian goal,[iii]

Compared with that high purpose of the soul,

Which fires the hero from Messiah’s host;

When, girded by the Spirit’s firm control,

He lays the cumber of the world aside;

Though in it he perchance is call’d to part

With natures to his sweetest hope allied: –

Some dear, some cherish’d idol of the heart, –

Some link of life that seems to him the whole. 10

To win the fading wreath that deck’d his brow,

The Heathen threw his flowing vesture down.

Christian! the world is like his garment now,

But not like his – thine everlasting crown!*


1. Saffery, Poems (1834), pp. 73-4; Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 5, pp. 154-55.

2. Saffery, Poems (1834), p. 167; Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 5, p. 192.