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Poem by William Cowper
Divine Justice Amiable
Thou hast no lightnings, O thou Just! Or I their force should know; And, if thou strike me into dust, My soul approves the blow. The heart, that values less its ease Than it adores thy ways, In thine avenging anger sees A subject of its praise. Pleased I could lie, concealed and lost, In shades of central night; Not to avoid thy wrath, thou know'st, But lest I grieve thy sight. Smite me, O thou, whom I provoke! And I will love thee still: The well deserved and righteous stroke Shall please me, though it kill. Am I not worthy to sustain The worst thou canst devise; And dare I seek thy throne again, And meet thy sacred eyes? Far from afflicting, thou art kind; And, in my saddest hours, An unction of thy grace I find, Pervading all my powers. Alas! thou sparest me yet again; And, when thy wrath should move, Too gentle to endure my pain, Thou soothest me with thy love. I have no punishment to fear; But, ah! that smile from thee Imparts a pang far more severe Than woe itself would be.
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