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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Rose’s Diary (1850). “Put not on me, O Lord! this work divine”

Henry Septimus Sutton (1825–1901)

PUT not on me, O Lord! this work divine,

For I am too unworthy, and Thy speech

Would be defrauded through such lips as mine.

I have not learn’d Thee yet, and shall I teach?

O choose some other instrument of Thine!

The great, the royal ones, the noble saints,

These all are Thine, and they will speak for Thee.

No one who undertakes Thy words but faints;

Yet, if that man is saintly and sin-free,

Through him Thou wilt, O Lord! self-utter’d be.

But how shall I say anything, a child,

Not fit for such high work,—oh how shall I

Say what in speaking must not be defiled?

And yet, and yet, if I refuse to try,

The light that burns for mine own life will die.