The Contrite Heart. / William Cowper

The Lord will happiness divine
On contrite hearts bestow;
Then tell me, gracious God, is mine
A contrite heart or no?

I hear, but seem to hear in vain,
Insensible as steel;
If aught is felt, ‘tis only pain,
To find I cannot feel.

I sometimes think myself inclined
To love Thee if I could;
But often feel another mind,
Averse to all that’s good.

My best desires are faint and few,
I fain would strive for more;
But when I cry, “My strength renew!”
Seem weaker than before.

Thy saints are comforted, I know,
And love Thy house of prayer;
I therefore go where others go,
But find no comfort there.

Oh make this heart rejoice or ache;
Decide this doubt for me;
And if it be not broke, break —
And heal it, if it be.

 

collected in Before the door of God : an anthology of devotional poetry / Hopler, Jay ed.; Johnson, Kimberly ed. p. 227

ps: the poet’s last name is pronounced like /Cooper/. Yeah, that took me a long time, too.

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