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Oh Thou, by Long Experience Tried

Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
(1648-1717)
translated from the French by
William Cowper
(1731-1800)

also known by its original title of
The Soul That Loves God
Finds Him Everywhere

Oh Thou, by long experience tried,
Near whom no grief can long abide;
My Love! How full of sweet content
I pass my years of banishment!

All scenes alike engaging prove
To souls impressed with sacred love;
Where’er they dwell, they dwell in Thee,
In heav’n, in earth, or on the sea.

To me remains nor place nor time;
My country is in ev’ry clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any source, since God is there.

While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with a God to guide our way,
’Tis equal joy to go or stay.

Could I be cast where Thou art not,
That were indeed a dreadful lot;
But regions none remote I call,
Secure of finding God in all.

My country, Lord, art Thou alone;
No other can I claim or own;
The point where all my wishes meet—
My Law, My love — life’s only sweet!

I hold by nothing here below;
Appoint my journey, and I go;
Though pierced by scorn, oppressed by pride,
I feel the good — feel nought beside.

Ah, then! To His embrace repair;
My soul, thou art no stranger there.
There Love divine shall be thy guard,
And peace and safety thy reward.

 

Lyre and Wreath, used under license from www.123rf.com (santi0103/123RF Stock Photo)

To discover more hymns, visit our growing list of Powerful Poetry.

Image credit: Copyright: santi0103/123RF Stock Photo
Used under license
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