Tune: Columbian Harmony, 1829
Alto: Wilson Marion Cooper, 1902
Lyrics: Mercer’s Cluster, 1823
Meter: Common Meter Double (8,6,8,6,8,6,8,6)
O once I had a glorious view
Of my redeeming Lord;
He said I’ll be a God to you,
And I believed His word.
But now I have a deeper stroke
Than all my groanings are,
My God has me of late forsook—
He’s gone, I know not where.
O what immortal joys I felt,
On that celestial day,
When my hard heart began to melt,
By love dissolved away!
But my complaint is bitter now,
For all my joys are gone;
I’ve stray’d—I’m left! I know not how;
The light’s from me withdrawn.
Once I could ’joy the saints to meet,
To me they were most dear
I then could stoop to wash their feet,
And shed a joyful tear;
But now I meet them as the rest,
And with them joyless stay,
My conversation’s spiritless,
Or else I’ve naught to say.
I once could mourn o’er dying men,
And longed their souls to win,
I travailed for their poor children,
And warned them of their sin;
But now my heart’s so careless grown,
Although they’re drowned in vice,
My bowels o’er them cease to yearn,
My tears have left mine eyes.
I forward go in duty’s way,
But can’t perceive Him there;
Then backward on the road I stray,
But cannot find Him there;
On the left hand, where He doth work,
Among the wicked crew,
And on the right I find Him not
Among the favored few.
What shall I do? Shall I lie down
And sink in deep despair?
Will He forever wear a frown,
Nor hear my feeble prayer?
No, He will put His strength in me,
He knows the way I’ve strolled,
And when I’m tried sufficiently
I shall come forth as gold.