Three Early Poems, December 1795

1. The Complaint – Sabbath Day, December 13, 1795

Where shall I go with this distracted mind,

This heart divided, and this soul undone;

Can such a wretch a sheltering refuge find,

Beneath the ample circuit of the sun?

Ah, no! ’tis all a dreary waste to me,

I would not stay in all the desert plain;

Trembling before the beating storm I flee,

The driving wind and the descending rain.

Affliction’s heavy cloud my heart dismays,

Temptation’s ruder blasts my soul affright,

Solicitude consumes my restless days,

Blots its fair beam, and darker makes the night.

2. Wednesday, December 16, 1795

Now then my soul forbid thy fears to rise,

And chase the jealous anguish from thy heart,

For love divine to every fear replies,

And drops like balm upon the raging smart.

Savior adored, how infinitely sweet,

To spend one moment gazing on thy charms,

To lie devoted at thy glorious feet,

Or stand supported in those gentle arms.

3. Sabbath Evening, December 20, 1795 – Despondancy Reproved

’Tis dark, ’tis midnight with my weary soul,

My spirit faints bewildered and astray,

Around my feet chaotic vapours roll

No hand appears to guide my doubtful way.

Ah! did I say no guardian hand was nigh,

Whose gentle touch these dreadful fears might quell?

Then tell me O my trembling spirit why,

Thy sliding steps have not declined to hell!

Texts: Attwater Papers, acc. 76, II.A.2, pp. 10-11; Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 5, pp. 71-72.