Thou wert the first put in my hand
When yet I could not understand,
And daily didst my young eyes lead
To letters, till I learnt to read.
But as rash youths, when once grown strong,
Fly from their nurses to the throng,
Where they new consorts choose, and stick
To those till either hurt or sick;
So with that first light gain'd from thee
Ran I in chase of vanity,
Cried112112cried, cried up dross for gold, and never thought
My first cheap books had all I sought.
Long reign'd this vogue; and thou, cast by,
With meek, dumb looks didst woo mine eye,
And oft left open, would'st convey
A sudden and most searching ray
Into my soul, with whose quick touch
Refining still113113See Note, I struggled much.
By this mild art of love at length
Thou overcam'st my sinful strength,
And having brought me home, didst there
Shew me that pearl I sought elsewhere,--
Gladness, and peace, and hope, and love,
The secret favours of the Dove114114the Dove, the Holy Spirit;
Her quickening kindness, smiles and kisses,
Exalted pleasures, crowning blisses,
Fruition, union, glory, life,
Thou didst lead to, and still all strife.
Living, thou wert my soul's sure ease,
And dying mak'st me go in peace:--
Thy next effects no tongue can tell;
Farewell, O book of GOD! farewell!