Strong in Hope

Hope

Ah! Hannah, why shouldest thou despair,

Quick to the tabernacle speed;

There on thy knees prefer thy prayer,

And there thy cause to mercy plead.

 

Her pious breathings now ascend,

As from her heart the sigh she heaves;

And angels to her suit attend,

Till strong in hope she now conceives.

 

Then Samuel soon was brought to light

To serve the Lord, as yet a child —

O what a heart-reviving sight!

Sure cherubims and seraphs smiled

 

Thus yet a child I may begin

To serve the Lord with all my heart;

To shun the wily lures of sin,

And claim the prize, or e’er I start.

 

Christopher Smart (1722-1771) was an English journalist and poet, who edited and wrote extensively for several London magazines. After suffering a mental breakdown in his thirties, his focus turned to religious poetry, of a mystical and particularly creative type.

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