Wednesday, October 26, 2011

POEM #30 - Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Wikipedia asserts that I. Watts is the "Father of English Hymnody."
"From an early age, Watts displayed a propensity for rhyme. Once, he had to explain how he came to have his eyes open during prayers:
A little mouse for want of stairs
ran up a rope to say its prayers.
Receiving corporal punishment for this, he cried:
O father, father, pity take
And I will no more verses make!"
This is one of my favorites. Considering Mr. Watts managed to put out 750 poems, there are plenty to choose from! As a little 'bonus,' I've included one of his children's poems at the end of this one. *pic from

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home:

Under the shadow of thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men”;
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by thy flood,
And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand,
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering e’er ’tis night.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Against Idleness and Mischief

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

How skillfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be passed,
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.

1 comment:

The Dickinsons said...

Enjoyed reading this post. I sang/read that inspiring hymn out-loud. I'm sooo GLAD that our God isn't just a God of "Ages Past" but is still working today! =)

Loved the rhyme that Isaac said to his father before he got punished. =D

Thank you for your comment on my blog. Phillip and I enjoyed it that you had read what was written in Spanish below the display of Pasta in our groc. store and quoted it in my comments!
Cute! =)

Blessings my friend,