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Treasury of Sacred Song
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CII

THE RETREAT

Happy those early days, when I

Shined in my Angel-infancy!

Before I understood this place

Appointed for my second race,

Or taught my soul to fancy ought

But a white celestial thought;

When yet I had not walk'd above

A mile or two from my first Love,

And looking back--at that short space--

Could see a glimpse of His bright face:--

When on some gilded cloud, or flower,

My gazing soul would dwell an hour,

And in those weaker glories spy

Some shadows of eternity:--

Before I taught my tongue to wound

My Conscience with a sinful sound,

Or had the black art to dispense

A several sin to every sense,

But felt through all this fleshly dress

Bright shoots of everlastingness.

O how I long to travel back,

And tread again that ancient track!

That I might once more reach that plain

Where first I left my glorious train101101See Note;

From whence the enlighten'd spirit sees

That shady City of Palm-trees.

But ah! my soul with too much stay

Is drunk, and staggers in the way!

Some men a forward motion love,

But I by backward steps would move;

And when this dust falls to the urn,

In that state I came, return.


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