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

By Verses on Various Occasions. II. A Thanksgiving

John Henry Newman (1801–1890)

Oxford, October 20, 1829

Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.”

LORD, in this dust Thy sovereign voice

First quicken’d love divine;

I am all Thine,—Thy care and choice,

My very praise is Thine.

I praise Thee, while Thy providence

In childhood frail I trace,

For blessings given, ere dawning sense

Could seek or scan Thy grace;

Blessings in boyhood’s marvelling hour,

Bright dreams, and fancyings strange

Blessings, when reason’s awful power

Gave thought a bolder range;

Blessings of friends, which to my door

Unask’d, unhoped, have come

And, choicer still, a countless store

Of eager smiles at home.

Yet, Lord, in memory’s fondest place

I shrine those seasons sad,

When, looking up, I saw Thy face

In kind austereness clad.

I would not miss one sigh or tear,

Heart-pang, or throbbing brow;

Sweet was the chastisement severe,

And sweet its memory now.

Yes! let the fragrant scars abide,

Love-tokens in Thy stead,

Faint shadows of the spear-pierced side

And thorn-encompass’d head.

And such Thy tender force be still,

When self would swerve or stray,

Shaping to truth the froward will

Along Thy narrow way.

Deny me wealth; far, far remove

The lure of power or name;

Hope thrives in straits, in weakness love,

And faith in this world’s shame.