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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By Ben Jonson (1573?–1647)

An Hymn to God the Father

HEAR 1 me, O God!
  A broken heart
  Is my best part:
Use still Thy rod,
  That I may prove        5
  Therein Thy love.
If Thou hadst not
  Been stern to me,
  But left me free,
I had forgot        10
  Myself and Thee.
For sin’s so sweet,
  As minds ill bent
  Rarely repent,
Until they meet        15
  Their punishment.
Who more can crave
  Than Thou hast done?
  Thou gav’st a Son
To free a slave:        20
  First made of nought,
  Withal since bought.
Sin, death, and hell
  His glorious name
  Quite overcame;        25
Yet I rebel,
  And slight the same.
But I’ll come in
  Before my loss
  Me farther toss,        30
As sure to win
  Under His cross.
Note 1. Ben Jonson wrote very few religious poems, but these are the product of genuine feeling, if but little originality. [back]