Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
“Lord! when those glorious lights I see”
George Wither (1588–1667)
 
Hymn and Prayer for the Use of Believers

LORD! when those glorious lights I see
  With which thou hast adorned the skies,
Observing how they movèd be,
  And how their splendor fills mine eyes,
Methinks it is too large a grace,        5
  But that thy love ordained it so,—
That creatures in so high a place
  Should servants be to man below.
 
The meanest lamp now shining there
  In size and lustre doth exceed        10
The noblest of thy creatures here,
  And of our friendship hath no need.
Yet these upon mankind attend
  For secret aid or public light;
And from the world’s extremest end        15
  Repair unto us every night.
 
O, had that stamp been undefaced
  Which first on us thy hand had set,
How highly should we have been graced,
  Since we are so much honored yet!        20
Good God, for what but for the sake
  Of thy beloved and only Son,
Who did on him our nature take,
  Were these exceeding favors done?
 
As we by him have honored been,        25
  Let us to him due honors give;
Let us uprightness hide our sin,
  And let us worth from him receive.
Yea, so let us by grace improve
  What thou by nature doth bestow,        30
That to thy dwelling-place above
  We may be raisèd from below.
 
 
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