‘Twas a sweet April morning: I traversed the glade
Where my light foot in infancy often had played:

‘Twas a sweet April morning: I traversed the glade
Where my light foot in infancy often had played:
Each object recalled to my lingering view
The hours that there once so delightfully flew.

Dear scenes of enchantment, for ever gone by!
How brightly they danced before memory’s eye!
I numbered their fugitive blisses all o’er:
They were flown, and I sighed I had prized them no more.

Oh, why is it thus, that we never discover
The worth of our joys till possession is over?
That we only can gaze on the sun of delight,
When its fast-fading glories are setting in night?

All aimless and wild as the zephyr, we fleet
O’er a thousand fair flow’rets that smile at our feet:
Though they lure us to pluck them, and woo us to stay,
We trample, we slight them, and flutter away.

Then, when life brings its crosses, its cares, and its fears,
When disaster beside and before us appears,
Then we pause, and look back, and our folly discern;
Then we prize, bless, and mourn what can never return.

When all that hope hung on for comfort is flown,
When delights from the past must be gathered alone,
How dimly they shine through the distance of years!
How ill can they chase present shadows and tears!

Woe, woe to the heart, that is destined to ache
In a world whose gay bustle it loathes to partake!
Where nothing is left that is moving or dear,
That can light up a smile, or elicit a tear!

When conscience is sickened on looking within,
When without there is little to wish or to win,
When Memory shrinks back from the things that have been,
And Hope looking onward grows pale at the scene,

Oh, where to find comfort? Oh, whither to fly,
Scarce wishing to live, and yet dreading to die?
Thus helpless, thus reckless, pierced, lost, unforgiven;
Heart-broken on earth, and desponding in heaven!

Lord, Thou canst give light in this hour of despair;
Canst ease us of anguish, or teach us to bear:
And good is the pressure of pain and distress,
If they lead to a Saviour to heal and to bless.

‘Tis good that our props shoudl from ‘neath us be fled,
If we drop into Arms Everlasting instead;
That thistles and thorns in our pathway should rise,
If they send us but on for repose to the skies.

When all else is changing within and around,
In God and His goodness no change can be found.
In giving or taking His end is the same,
His creatures to quicken, exalt, and reclaim.

Such terrors to drive, and such love to allure,
Lord, add but Thy grace, and the issue is sure.
My trials may thicken, my comforts may flee;
I’m rick amid ruin with heaven and Thee.

Henry Francis Lyte


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