Margaret Dickson's penetential Consession.
WHat former Friend may ease my troubled Thought
When Mid-night Darkness comprehends me round,
And I'm before the dread Tribunal brought,
Call'd by the last and awful Trumpet's Sound.
My former Crimes I to my Mind now call,
And all the gross Trespasses think upon
Where I've an Actor been ; no Wretch alive
Deserves more certain and more sure a Doom.
The whole Creation was ordain'd by God,
The Wonders of his Truth to magnify,
But he'll them chasten with his awful Rod,
When they slight Grace that's set before their Eye.
My younger Days I lavished away
In Frailties that's too common unto Youth,
And to each Sin I made my self a Prey,
By which my Vices were in every Mouth.
But yet that awful God, whose Frown can make.
The Vassal Globe of his Creation shake,
Did mark my Steps, brandished my Sin
Of Murder, and I was caught therein.
Before the Justice Seat soon was I born,
Where lives no Fraud, nor Witness are subborn,
Who found me guilty of that barbarous Crime,
And did, by Law, end this wretched Life of mine.
But God, whose Mercy does so far extend,
That from one Pole to th'other it doth not end,
Did me preserve, as an Example high
Of divine Omnipotence, which humane Sight can't spy.
So I'm absolved from Men's servile Laws,
Who dive into th' Effects, but not the Cause.
A Life of Sanctity I purpos'd hence to lead,
But nat'ral Corruptions did almighty Graco exceed.
Had it' but pleas'd my Great, Almighty Maker,
To take my Soul when finish'd was the Creature,
Into his High, Celestial Courts above,
Then I'd been blest with his Almighty Love;
At his Tribunal then could I appear
With joyful Face, nor shed a sinful Tear:
My Life, I hope, shou'd ended been in Glory,
And not relaps'd to a more fatal Story,
But all of new my Crimes I do repeat,
Nor thinks upon the Terrors of my Fate.
O thou, my God, my Soul do thou enlighten,
That so my faith, by Christ, I soon may heighten.
'Tis not the painful Agonies of Death,
Nor all the gloomy Horrors of the Grave,
Were these the worst, unmov'd I'd yeild my Breath,
And, with a Smile, the King of Terrors brave.
But there's an After-day, 'tis that I fear,
Ah,who shall hide me from that angry Brow,
Already I the dreadful Accents hear,
'Depart from mey and that for ever too.
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Probable date of publication:
1728 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(076)
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