Monday, February 02, 2009

what is now, and what was then

This poem by John Flavel written in 1691 was recorded by William Sinclair of Wick in his diary which is online here. William Sinclair was (I think) the father of Rev. James S. Sinclair.

"Then did the sunshine of Thy face,
And sweetest glimpses of Thy grace,
Like April showers and warming gleams,
Distil their dews, reflect their beams.
My dead affections then were green,
And hopeful buds were to be seen;
Oh joyful days, thrice happy state,
Each place was Bethel, heaven's gate.
What sweet discourse, what heavenly talk,
While daily I did with Thee walk;
Mine eyes o'erflow, my heart doth sink,
As oft upon those days I think.
For strangers now have come between
My God and me, and may be seen;
For what is now, and what was then,
'Tis just as if I were two men.
My fragrant branches blasted be,
No fruits like those now can I see;
Some canker worm lies at my root,
Which fades my leaves, destroys my fruit.
My soul is banished from Thy sight,
For this it mourneth day and night;
Yet why dost thou desponding lie?
Like Jonah, cast a backward eye,
That God who made the Spring at first,
When I was barren and accurst,
Can much more easily restore
My state to what it was before;
A word or smile on my poor soul
Would make it perfect, sound and whole."