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Translations From The French Of Madame De La Mothe Guion by William Cowper

Divine Justice Amiable

Thou hast no lightnings, O thou Just!

Or I their force should know;

And, if thou strike me into dust,

My soul approves the blow.

The heart, that values less its ease

Than it adores thy ways,

In thine avenging anger sees

A subject of its praise.

Pleased I could lie, concealed and lost,

In shades of central night;

Not to avoid thy wrath, thou know'st,

But lest I grieve thy sight.

Smite me, O thou, whom I provoke!

And I will love thee still:

The well deserved and righteous stroke

Shall please me, though it kill.

Am I not worthy to sustain

The worst thou canst devise;

And dare I seek thy throne again,

And meet thy sacred eyes?

Far from afflicting, thou art kind;

And, in my saddest hours,

An unction of thy grace I find,

Pervading all my powers.

Alas! thou sparest me yet again;

And, when thy wrath should move,

Too gentle to endure my pain,

Thou soothest me with thy love.

I have no punishment to fear;

But, ah! that smile from thee

Imparts a pang far more severe

Than woe itself would be.

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