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

By John Byrom (1692–1763)

The Desponding Soul’s Wish

MY 1 spirit longeth for Thee,
  Within my troubled breast,
Altho’ I be unworthy
  Of so divine a Guest.
Of so divine a Guest        5
  Unworthy tho’ I be,
Yet has my heart no rest,
  Unless it come from Thee.
Unless it come from Thee,
  In vain I look around;        10
In all that I can see
  No rest is to be found.
No rest is to be found,
  But in Thy blessèd love;
O! let my wish be crown’d,        15
  And send it from above!
Note 1. John Byrom, famous in his day as the inventor of a system of shorthand, is now remembered as the friend of William Law, whose periods it delighted him to turn into doggerel verse; and still better as the author of several epigrams, notably those on the King and Pretender, and Handel and Buononcini. His poems were published in 1773, and his very interesting diary was edited for the Chetham Society in 1854. The well-known hymn, “Christians, awake,” is shortened from a poem of his. [back]