Oft have I sat in secret sighs

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General information=

This is a poem by Isaac Watts, entitled A sight of heaven in sickness, published 1706.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. Oft have I sat in secret sighs
To feel my flesh decay;
Then groaned aloud with frighted eyes,
To view the tottering clay.

2. But I forbid my sorrows now,
Nor dares the flesh complain;
Diseases bring their profits too,
The joy o'er-comes the pain.

3. My cheerful soul now all the day
Sits waiting here and sings;
Looks through the ruins of her clay,
And practices her wings.


4. Faith almost changes into light,
While from afar she spies
Her fair inheritance in light
Above created skies.

5. Had but the prison-walls been strong
And firm, without a flaw,
In darkness she had dwelt too long
And less of glory saw.

6. But now the everlasting hills
Through every chink appear;
And something of the joy she feels
While she's a prisoner here.


7. The shines of heaven run sweetly in
At all the gaping flaws;
Visions of endless bliss are seen,
And native air she draws.

8. O may these walls stand tottering still,
The breaches never close,
If I must here in darkness dwell,
And all this glory lose!

9. O rather let this flesh decay;
The ruins wider grow,
Till, glad to see the enlarged way,
I stretch my pinions through.

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