Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A HYMN ON THE DIVINE OMNIPRESENCE, by JOHN BYROM



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A HYMN ON THE DIVINE OMNIPRESENCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh lord! Thou hast known me, and searched me out
Last Line: And the darkness, to thee, is clear as the light.
Subject(s): Bible; Hymns (as Literary Form); Singing & Singers; Songs


OH Lord! thou hast known me, and searched me out,
Thou seest, at all times, what I'm thinking about;
When I rise up to labour, or lie down to rest,
Thou markest each motion that works in my breast;
My heart has no secrets, but what thou canst tell,
Not a word in my tongue but thou knowest it well;
Thou seest my intention before it is wrought,
Long before I conceive it, thou knowest my thought.

Thou art always about me, go whither I will,
All the paths that I take to, I meet with thee still;
I go forth abroad, and am under thine eye,
I retire to myself, and behold! thou art by.
How is it that thou hast encompass'd me so
That I cannot escape thee, wherever I go?
Such knowledge as this is too high to attain,
'Tis a truth which I feel, tho' I cannot explain.

Whither then shall I flee from thy Spirit, O Lord?
What shelter can space from thy presence afford;
If I climb up to Heav'n, lo! there is thy throne;
If I go down to Hell, even there thou art known;
If for wings I should mount on the morning's swift ray,
And remain in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there, let the distance be ever so wide,
Thy hand would support me, thy right hand would guide.

If I say, "peradventure, the dark may conceal
"What distance, tho' boundless, is forc'd to reveal;"
Yet the dark, at thy presence, would vanish away,
And my covering, the night, would be turn'd into day.
It is I myself only who could not then see,
Yea, the darkness, O Lord, is no darkness to thee:
The night and the day are alike in thy sight,
And the darkness, to thee, is clear as the light.





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