John Quarles Poems >>
The Soul's Thankfulness

Most gracious God, I having lately felt
The fervour of thy mercies, needs must melt
Into a thankfulnesse, Ah should I be
Ungratefull to so blest a God as thee
'Twere pity, ah 'twere pity, that the ayr
Should give me breath, or thy fierce hand forbear
To throw me headlong to the deep abiss
Of speedy ruine, where no comfort is:
Oh glorious Lord, be pleased to inflame
My heart with raptures, to extoll thy name;
Alas I'm weak, and if thou shouldst deny
Thy ayde, nothing could be more weak than I.
If thou wilt help me, I shall be so strong
That nothing can prevail to doe me wrong.
Lord, I am blind, oh therefore let thy light
Expell those clouds, that thus eclipse my sight;
Be thou my guide, my strength, my sight, my way,
Or else (being weak) I shall, or fall, or stray;
Oh leave me not, but as thou hast begun
To shew me mercy, let thy mercy run
With my desires, and grant that I may be
A true forgetter of all things, but thee:
And rather then I should forget thy call,
Oh let me have no memory at all;
Wean me, oh wean me from this nursing earth,
Make it my sorrow, and thy Throne my mirth.
Let every morning make me know, and say
Thy Lawes are Just, or let me know no day;
Let every ev'ning, or make me take delight
In thy commands, or let me know no night.
Inspire my heart [O God] and make it glad
Alwayes in thee, or make it alwayes sad;
If thou afflict'st me, make me understand,
Thou hast a storming, and a calming hand;
If Poverty oppresse me, whilst I live,
Oh let thy mercy send me friends to give;
Or if thy goodnesse please to send me store
O give me grace to think I may be poor.
It matters not, O Lord, how poor I be
Unto the world, if I am rich to thee:
If I am hungry, ô be thou my meat,
If I am weary, ô be thou my seat;
Or if I feast, O Lord, be thou my guest;
If I am restlesse, Lord, be thou my rest;
If I am thirsty, Lord, be thou my spring;
If I am subject, Lord, be thou my King;
If I have vertue, make me dote upon her;
If Honourable, be thou my honor:
And if I cannot know that which I would,
Be pleas'd to make me know, Lord, what I should
Then shall my ready lips expresse and show
I know no more, then thou wouldst have me know
My unty'd tongue shall evermore proclaime
Th' attendant glories of thy sacred Name.