Oft Have I Sat In Secret Sighs

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

But I forbid my sorrows now,
Nor dares the flesh complain;
Diseases bring their profit too;
The joy o’ercomes the pain.

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

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

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

But now the everlasting hills
Through every chink appear,
And something of the joy she feels
While she’s a prisoner here:

The shines of heaven rush sweetly in
At all the gaping flaws:
Visions of endless bliss are seen
And native air the draws.

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

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

The Christian’s duty, exhibited in a series of hymns,