A HYMN TO GOD THE FATHER.
by John Donne

I.
WILT Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

II.
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

III.
I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore ;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore ;
And having done that, Thou hast done ;
I fear no more.

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6 thoughts on “

  1. I think the real reason April is national poetry month is because baseball has started back up, and nothing will make a red-blooded American man wax poetic faster than baseball. I almost cried reading this:
    The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
    The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
    And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
    A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

    A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
    Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
    They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that –
    We'd put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

    But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
    And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
    So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
    For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.

    But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
    And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
    And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
    There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

    Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
    It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
    It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
    For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

    There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
    There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
    And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
    No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

    Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
    Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
    Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
    Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
    And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
    Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
    “That ain't my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

    From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
    Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
    “Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
    And its likely they'd a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

    With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
    He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
    He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
    But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

    “Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
    But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
    And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

    The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
    He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

    Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
    But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

  2. Written by Bishop Thomas Ken in the mid 1670's, these two hymns, one to be sung in the morning upon rising, one before retiring at night, are perhaps the most well-known English-language songs in Protestant worship. Really? Yea, but not the entire songs. Sadly, only the last verse of each is ever sung, and it's the same verse in both songs. Before you read the common last verse, below the two hymns, can you figure it out?

    MORNING HYMN

    Awake, my soul, and with the sun
    Thy daily stage of duty run;
    Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
    To pay thy morning sacrifice.

    Thy precious time misspent, redeem,
    Each present day thy last esteem,
    Improve thy talent with due care;
    For the great day thyself prepare.

    By influence of the Light divine
    Let thy own light to others shine.
    Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
    In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

    In conversation be sincere;
    Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
    Think how all seeing God thy ways
    And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

    Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
    And with the angels bear thy part,
    Who all night long unwearied sing
    High praise to the eternal King.

    All praise to Thee, who safe has kept
    And hast refreshed me while I slept
    Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
    I may of endless light partake.

    Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
    O never then from me depart;
    For to my soul ’tis hell to be
    But for one moment void of Thee.

    Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
    Disperse my sins as morning dew.
    Guard my first springs of thought and will,
    And with Thyself my spirit fill.

    Direct, control, suggest, this day,
    All I design, or do, or say,
    That all my powers, with all their might,
    In Thy sole glory may unite.

    I would not wake nor rise again
    And Heaven itself I would disdain,
    Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
    And I in hymns to be employed.

    EVENING HYMN

    All praise to Thee, my God, this night,
    For all the blessings of the light!
    Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
    Beneath Thine own almighty wings.

    Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
    The ill that I this day have done,
    That with the world, myself, and Thee,
    I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

    Teach me to live, that I may dread
    The grave as little as my bed.
    Teach me to die, that so I may
    Rise glorious at the judgment day.

    O may my soul on Thee repose,
    And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,
    Sleep that may me more vigorous make
    To serve my God when I awake.

    When in the night I sleepless lie,
    My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
    Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,
    No powers of darkness me molest.

    O when shall I, in endless day,
    For ever chase dark sleep away,
    And hymns divine with angels sing,
    All praise to thee, eternal King?

    Okay, now here's the last verse of both songs. Did you get it right?

    Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
    Praise Him, all creatures here below!
    Praise Him above, ye heavenly host!
    Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

    Surprise!

  3. Well, Laura's Dad, I sing both of them all the time. Not quite every day, but close.

    Of course, with the first hymn, I only sing verses 6, 8 and 9. But with the second I sing all except the sixth.

    And on Sundays I sing “Direct, control, suggest this week / All I design or do or speak.”

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