Alas, my aching heart

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General information

This is a poem by Isaac Watts, from Horae Lyricae, 1706, entitled Confession and Pardon. The first fourteen stanzas are S. M.; following stanzas are C. M.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. Alas, my aching heart!
Here the keen torment lies;
It racks my waking hours with smart,
And frights my slumbering eyes.

2. Guilt will be hid no more;
My griefs take vent apace;
The crimes that blot my conscience o'er
Flush crimson in my face.

3. My sorrows, like a flood,
Impatient of restraint,
Into Thy bosom, O my God,
Pour out a long complaint.

4. This impious heart of mine
Could once defy the Lord;
Could rush with violence on to sin.
In presence of Thy sword.

5. How often have I stood
A rebel to the skies,
The calls, the tenders, of a God,
And mercy's loudest cries!

6. He offers all his grace,
And all his heaven to me;
Offers! But 'tis to senseless brass,
That cannot feel nor see.


7. Jesus, the Savior, stands
To court me from above,
And looks and spreads his wounded hands.
And shows the prints of love.

8. But I, a stupid fool,
How long have I withstood
The blessings purchased with his soul,
And paid for all in blood!

9. The heavenly Dove came down
And tendered me his wings,
To mount me upward to a crown,
And bright immortal things.

10. Lord, I'm ashamed to say
That I refused Thy Dove,
And sent Thy Spirit grieved away,
To his own realms of love.

11. Not all thine heavenly charms,
Nor terrors of Thy hand,
Could force me to lay down my arms,
And bow to Thy command.

12. Lord, 'tis against Thy face
My sins like arrows rise,
And yet, and yet (O matchless grace!)
Thy thunder silent lies.


13. O shall I never feel
The meltings of Thy love!
Am I of such hell-hardened steel
That mercy cannot move ?

14. Now, for one powerful glance,
Dear Savior, from Thy face!
This rebel heart no more withstands,
But sinks beneath Thy grace.

15. Overcome by dying love I fall;
Here at Thy cross I lie:
And throw my flesh, my soul, my all,
And weep, and love, and die.

16. “Rise,” says the Prince of Mercy, “Rise,
(With joy and pity in his eyes)
“Rise and behold my wounded veins:
Here flows the blood to wash thy stains.”

17. “See my great Father reconciled,”
He said. And lo, the Father smiled;
The joyful cherubs clapped their wings,
And sounded grace on all their strings!

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