Saturday, December 03, 2011

From Frederick Faber


O Lord! my heart is sick
Of this perpetually lapsing time,
So slow in grief, in joy so quick,
Yet ever casting shadows so sublime:
Time of all creatures is least like to Thee,
And yet it is our share of Thine eternity.

O change and time are storms
For lives so thin and frail as ours;
For change the works of grace deforms
With love that soils, and help that over powers;
And time is strong, and, like some chafing sea,
It seems to fret the shores of Thine eternity.

Weak, weak, forever weak!
We cannot hold what we possess;
Youth cannot find, age will not seek,
O weakness is the heart’s worst weakness:
But weakest hearts can lift their thoughts to Thee;
It makes us strong to think of Thine eternity.

Thou hadst no youth, great God,
An Unbeginning End Thou art;
Thy glory in itself abode,
And still abides in its own tranquil heart:
No age can heap its outward years on Thee:
Dear God! Thou art Thyself Thine own eternity!

Without an end or bound
Thy life lies all outspread in light;
Our lives feel The life all around,
Making our weakness strong, our darkness bright;
Yet is it neither wilderness nor sea,
But the calm gladness of a full eternity.

Oh Thou art very great
To set Thyself so far above!
But we partake of Thine estate,
Established in Thy strength and in Thy love:
That love hath made eternal room for me
In the sweet vastness of its own eternity.

Oh Thou art very meek
To overshade Thy creatures thus!
Thy grandeur is the shade we seek:
To be eternal is Thy use to us:
Ah Blessed God! What joy it is to me
To lose all thought of self in Thine eternity.

Self-wearied, Lord! I come;
For I have lived my life too fast:
Now that years bring me nearer home
Grace must be slowly used to make it last;
When my heart beats too quick I think of Thee,
And of the leisure of Thy long eternity.

Farwell, vain joys of earth!
Farewell, all love that is not His!
Dear God! Be Thou my only mirth,
Thy magesty my single timid bliss!
Oh in the bosom of eternity
Thou does not weary of Thyself, nor we of Thee!

Faber's Hymns, Frederick Faber, 1875

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