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Treasury of Sacred Song
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CXXXIII

THE WORLD

Thou art not Truth! for he that tries

Shall find thee all deceit and lies.

Thou art not Friendship! for in thee

'Tis but the bait of policy,

Which, like a viper lodged in flowers,

Its venom through that sweetness pours;

And when not so, then always 'tis

A fading paint, the short-lived bliss

Of air and humour154154humour, moisture; out and in,

Like colours in a dolphin's skin:

But must not live beyond one day,

Or for convenience; then away.

Thou art not Riches! for that trash,

Which one age hoards, the next doth wash

And so severely sweep away

That few remember where it lay,

So, rapid streams the wealthy land

About them have at their command;

And shifting channels here restore,

There break down, what they bank'd before.

Thou art not Honour! for those gay

Feathers will wear and drop away;

And princes to some upstart line

Give new ones, that are full as fine.

Thou art not Pleasure! for thy rose

Upon a thorn doth still repose;

Which, if not cropt, will quickly shed,

But soon as cropt, grows dull and dead.

Thou art the sand, which fills one glass,

And then doth to another pass;

And could I put thee to a stay,

Thou art but dust! Then go thy way,

And leave me clean and bright, though poor:

Who stops thee doth but daub his floor;

And, swallow-like, when he hath done,

To unknown dwellings must be gone!

Welcome, pure thoughts, and peaceful hours,

Enrich'd with sunshine and with showers;

Welcome fair hopes, and holy cares,

The not to be repented shares

Of Time and business: the sure road

Unto my last and loved abode!

O supreme Bliss:

The Circle, Centre, and Abyss

Of blessings, never let me miss

Nor leave that path, which leads to Thee,

Who art alone all things to me!

I hear, I see, all the long day

The noise and pomp of the Broad Way:

I note their coarse and proud approaches,

Their silks, perfumes, and glittering coaches.

But in the Narrow Way to Thee

I observe only poverty,

And despised things; and all along

The ragged, mean, and humble throng

Are still on foot; and as they go

They sigh, and say, their LORD went so.


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