Friday, August 8, 2008

Praise to God, Immortal Praise

Praise to God, immortal praise,
For the love that crowns our days;
Bounteous Source of every joy,
Let Thy praise our tongues employ.

Flocks that whiten all the plain;

Yellow sheaves of ripened grain;
Clouds that drop their fattening dews,
Sun that temperate warmth diffuses.
All that Spring with bounteous hand
Scatters o’er the smiling land;
All that liberal Autumn pours
From her rich o’erflowing stores.
These to Thee, my God, we owe,
Source whence all our blessings flow;
And for these my soul shall raise
Grateful vows and solemn praise.

Yet, should rising whirlwinds tear
From its stem the ripening ear;
Should the fig tree’s blasted shoot*
Drop her green untimely fruit,
Should the vine put forth no more,
Nor the olive yield her store;
Though the sickening flocks should fall,
And the herds desert the stall,
Yet to Thee my soul shall raise

Grateful vows and solemn praise;
And, when every blessing’s flown
Love Thee for Thyself alone.**
---An­na L. Bar­bauld, 1772 (adapted c.m.b. 2008)

*Habakkuk 3:17-19 (a near paraphrase). After chapters of asking "How, God?" and "Why, God?"---and getting answers from God!!---Habakkuk makes this statement of faith. [Habakkuk ties another as my favorite book of the Bible]
**Christian thinkers, C.S. Lewis included, have said that as we mature in our faith, we love God for who He is and not just for the great benefits of heaven which we get from Him


Kevin Davis said...

Thanks for sharing. I'd love your opinion on my poetry label from the third place. I enjoy writing poetry, whenever it hits me.

C. Marie Byars said...

Thanks for coming by again. I'll go see what's up over at your place, although I don't really have the qualifications to be a proper poetry critic.