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

God Hides His People

To lay the soul that loves him low,

Becomes the Only-wise:

To hide beneath a veil of woe,

The children of the skies.

Man, though a worm, would yet be great;

Though feeble, would seem strong;

Assumes an independent state,

By sacrilege and wrong.

Strange the reverse, which, once abased,

The haughty creature proves!

He feels his soul a barren waste,

Nor dares affirm he loves.

Scorned by the thoughtless and the vain,

To God he presses near;

Superior to the world's disdain,

And happy in its sneer.

Oh welcome, in his heart he says,

Humility and shame!

Farewell the wish for human praise,

The music of a name!

But will not scandal mar the good

That I might else perform?

And can God work it, if he would,

By so despised a worm?

Ah, vainly anxious! -- leave the Lord

To rule thee, and dispose;

Sweet is the mandate of his word,

And gracious all he does.

He draws from human littleness

His grandeur and renown;

And generous hearts with joy confess

The triumph all his own.

Down, then, with self-exalting thoughts;

Thy faith and hope employ,

To welcome all that he allots,

And suffer shame with joy.

No longer, then, thou wilt encroach

On his eternal right;

And he shall smile at thy approach,

And make thee his delight.

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