- (Posted 2017-01-05) CPDL #42511:
- Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2017-01-05). Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 78 kB Copyright: Public Domain
- Edition notes: Oval note edition. Two more pairs of stanzas included, selected from Watts' poem.
- (Posted 2017-01-05) CPDL #42510:
- Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2017-01-05). Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 2 pages, 80 kB Copyright: Public Domain
- Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). Two more pairs of stanzas included, selected from Watts' poem.
First Line: Oft I am told the muse will prove
Composer: Timothy Swan
Lyricist: Isaac Watts
Number of voices: 4vv Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred Meter: 88. 88 (L.M.)
Instruments: A cappella
First published: 1801 in Swan's New England Harmony, pp. 25-26
Description: Words by Isaac Watts, 1706, poem entitled Bewailing My Own Inconstancy, with ten stanzas. Swan used the fifth and sixth stanzas of Watts' poem in his composition.
Original text and translations
1. I love the Lord; but, ah! how far
My thoughts from the dear object are!
This wanton heart, how wide it roves,
And fancy meets a thousand loves.
2. If my soul burn to see my God, .
I tread the courts of his abode;
But troops of rivals throng the place?
And tempt me off before his face.
3. Would I enjoy my Lord alone,
I bid my passions all be gone,
All but my love; and charge my will
To bar the door and guard it still.
4. But cares or trifles make or find
Still new avenues to the mind,
Till I with grief and wonder see
Huge crowds betwixt my Lord and me.
5. Oft I am told the muse will prove
A friend to piety and love;
Straight I begin some sacred song,
And take my Savior on my tongue.
6. Strangely I lose his lovely face,
To hold the empty sounds in chase;
At best the chimes divide my heart,
And the muse shares the larger part.
7. False confident! and falser breast!
Fickle, and fond of every guest :
Each airy image, as it flies,
Here finds admittance through my eyes.
8. This foolish heart can leave her God,
And shadows tempt her thoughts abroad:
How shall I fix this wandering mind,
Or throw my fetters on the wind?
9. Look gently down, Almighty Grace;
Prison me round in thine embrace;
Pity the soul that would be thine,
And let thy power my love confine.
10. Say, when shall that bright moment be,
That I shall live alone for thee;
My heart no foreign lords adore,
And the wild muse prove false no more?