O thou, in whose presence my soul takes delight

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This a poem by Joseph Swain, 1791, in Experimental Essays, pp. 8-10, entitled A Description of Christ, by His Graces and Power, from Solomon's Song. Meter is 11 8. 11 8. 11 8. 11 8.

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Joseph Swain, 1791 (1)

1. O thou, in whose presence my soul takes delight,
On whom in affliction I call;
My comfort by day, and my song in the night,
My hope, my salvation, my all.
Where dost thou at noon-tide resort with thy sheep,
To feed them in pastures of love?
For why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or alone in the wilderness rove?

2. O why should I wander an alien from thee,
Or cry in the desert for bread?
Thy foes will rejoice, when my sorrows they see,
And smile at the tears I have shed
Ye daughters of Zion, declare, have ye seen
The Star that on Israel shone?
Say, if in your tents my beloved has been,
And where with his flocks he is gone?

3. This is my beloved, his form is divine,
His vestments shed odors around;
The locks on his head are as grapes on the vine,
When autumn with plenty is crowned.,
The roses of Sharon, the lilies that grow
In vales on the banks of the streams;
On his cheeks, in the beauty of excellence blow,
And his eyes are as quivers of beams!

4. His voice as the sound of a dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at his feet,
The air is perfumed with his breath.
His lips as a fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace;
From which their salvation the Gentiles shall know,
And bask in the smiles of his face.

5. Love sits on his eye-lids and scatters delight
Through all the bright mansions on high;
Their faces the cherubim veil in his sight,
And tremble with fullness of joy.
He looks, and ten thousand of angels rejoice,
And myriads wait for his word;
He speaks--and eternity, filled with his voice,
Re-echoes the praise of the her voice.

6. His vestments of righteousness who shall describe?
Its purity words would defile;
The heavens from his presence fresh beauties imbibe,
And earth is made rich by his smile.
Such is my beloved in excellence bright,
When pleased he looks down from above;
Like the morn, when he breathes from the chamber of light,
And comforts his people with love.

7. But when armed with vengeance, in terror he comes,
The nations' rebellions to tame,
The reins of omnipotent power he assumes,
And rides in a chariot of flame.
A two edged sword from his mouth issues forth,
Bright quivers of fire are his eyes;
He speaks, the black tempests are seen in the north,
And storms from their caverns arise.

8. The thousand destructions, that wait for his word,
And ride on the wings of his breath,
Fly swift as the winds at the nod of their Lord,
And deal out his arrows of death,
His cloud-bursting thunders, their voices resound
Through all the vast regions on high;
Till from the deep center loud echoes rebound,
And meet the quick flames in the sky.

9. The portals of heaven at his bidding obey,
And expand ere his banners appear;
Earth trembles beneath, till her mountains give way,
And hell shakes her fetters with fear.
When he treads on the clouds as the dust of his feet,
And grasps the storm in his hand;
What eye the fierce glance of his anger shall meet,
Or who in his presence shall stand?
_______________________
(1). Nine stanzas, 11 8. 11 8. D.

 

Social and Camp-Meeting Songs, Baltimore, 1818 (2)

1. O thou, in whose presence my soul takes delight.
On whom in affliction I call;
My comfort by day, and my song in the night.
My hope, my salvation, my all.
Where dost thou at noon-tide resort with thy sheep.
To feed on the pastures of love?
For why in the valley of death should I weep.
Or alone in the wilderness rove.

2. O why should I wander an alien from thee.
And cry in the desert for bread:
Thy foes will rejoice when my sorrows they see.
And smile at the tears I have shed.
Ye daughters of Zion, declare, have you seen
The star that on Israel shone?
Say if in your tents my Beloved has been,
And where with his flocks he is gone?

3. This is my Beloved, his form is divine,
His vestments shed odors around;
The locks on his head are as grapes on the vine,
When autumn with plenty is crowned.
The roses of Sharon, the lilies that grow
In the vales, on the banks of the streams,
On his cheek in the beauty of excellence blow,
And his eyes are as quivers of beams.

4. His voice, as the sound of the dulcimer sweet.
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at his feet,
The air is perfumed with his breath.
His lips as a fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace,
From which their salvation te Gentiles shall know.
And bask in the smiles of his face.

5. Love sits in his eye-lids and scatters delight
Through all the bright mansions on high:
Their faces the cherubims veil in his sight,
And tremble with fullness of joy.
He looks, and ten thousand of angels rejoice.
And myriads wait for his word;
He speaks, and eternity filled with his voice.
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.

6. His vestments of righteousness who shall describe!
Its purity, words would defile.
The heavens from his presence fresh beauties imbibe,
And earth is made rich by his smile.
Such is my Beloved, in excellence bright,
When pleased he looks down from above;
Like the morn when he breathes from the chambers of light,
And comforts his people with love.

7. But when armed with vengeance, in terror he comes,
The nations rebellious to tame;
The reins of omnipotent power he assumes,
And rides in a chariot of flame.
A two-edged sword from his mouth issues forth,
Bright quivers of fire are his eyes;
He speaks, and black tempests are seen in the north.
And storms from their caverns arise.

8. Ten thousand destructions that wait for his word,
And ride on the wings of his breath;
Fly swift as the wind at the nod of their Lord,
And deal out the arrows of death.
His cloud-bursting thunders their voices resound.
Through all the vast regions on high;
Till from the deep center loud echoes rebound,
And meet the quick flame in the sky.

9. The portals of heaven at his bidding obey,
And expand ere his banner appear;
Earth trembles beneath till her mountains give way,
And hell shakes her fetters with fear.
When he treads on the clouds as the dust of his feet,
And grasps the big storm in his hand,
What eye the fierce glance of his anger shall meet.
Or who in his presence shall stand?
_______________________
(2). Eighteen stanzas 658. 658.

 

Southern and Western Pocket Harmonist, 1846 (3)

1. O thou in whose presence my soul takes delight,
On whom, in affliction, I call;
My comfort by day, and my song in the night,
My hope, my salvation, my all,
Where dost thou at noon-tide resort with thy sheep,
To feed on the pastures of love?
Say why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or alone in the wilderness rove?

2. O why should I wander an alien from thee,
And cry in the desert for bread?
Thy foes will rejoice when my sorrows they see,
And smile at the tears I have shed.
Ye daughters of Zion, declare, have ye seen
The Star that on Israel shone?
Say if in your tents my Beloved has been.
And where, with his flock, he is gone?

3. What is thy Beloved, thou dignified fair?
What excellent beauties has he?
His charms and perfections be pleased to declare,
That we may embrace him with thee.
This is my Beloved, his form is divine;
His vestments shed odor around;
The locks on his head are as grapes on the vine.
When autumn with plenty is crowned.

4. His voice, as the sound of the dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at his feet,
The air is perfumed with his breath.
His lips as the fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace;
From which their salvation the Gentiles shall know,
And bask in the smiles of his face.

5. The roses of Sharon, the lilies that grow
In the vales, on the banks of the streams,
On his cheeks in the beauty of excellence blow,
And his eyes are as quivers of beams.
His voice as the sound of the dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at his feet,
The air is perfumed with his breath.

6. His lips as the fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace;
From which their salvation the Gentiles shall know,
And bask in the smiles of his face.
Love sits in his eyelids, and scatters delight
Through all the bright mansions on high;
Their faces the cherubims veil in his sight,
And tremble with fullness of joy.

7. He looks, and ten thousands of angels rejoice,
And millions attend on his word:
He speaks—and eternity, filled with his voice
Re-echoes the praise of her Lord.
Such is my Beloved, in excellence bright,
When pleased he looks down from above,
Like the morn when he breathes from the chambers of light,
And comforts his people with love.
_______________________
(3) Seven stanzas 11 8. 11 8. D.

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