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The first child of Reverend John Cowper and Ann Donne Cowper, Willam...
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Olney Hymns, IX [The Contrite Heart]

by William Cowper

The Lord will happiness divine
     On contrite hearts bestow; 
Then tell me, gracious God, is mine
     A contrite heart or no?

I hear, but seem to hear in vain,
     Insensible as steel; 
If aught is felt, 'tis only pain,
     To find I cannot feel.

I sometimes think myself inclined
     To love Thee if I could; 
But often feel another mind,
     Averse to all that's good.

My best desires are faint and few,
     I fain would strive for more; 
But when I cry, "My strength renew!"
     Seem weaker than before.

Thy saints are comforted, I know,
     And love Thy house of prayer; 
I therefore go where others go,
     But find no comfort there.

Oh make this heart rejoice or ache;
     Decide this doubt for me; 
And if it be not broken, break—
     And heal it, if it be.

From Olney Hymns (1779) by William Cowper.
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