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George Wither

(11 June 1588 – 2 May 1667 / Bentworth, Hampshire)

Lord! When Those Glorious Lights I See


Lord! when those glorious lights I see
With which thou hast adorned the skies,
Observing how they moved be,
And how their splendor fills mine eyes,
Methinks it is too large a grace,
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
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
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!
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,
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,
That to thy dwelling-place above
We may be raised from below.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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