John Newton: The Poet

How tedious and tasteless the hours, when Jesus no longer I see!

Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers, have lost all their sweetness to me.

The mid-summer sun shines but dim, the fields strive in vain to look gay;

But when I am happy in Him, December’s as pleasant as May.

His name yields the richest perfume, and sweeter than music His voice;

His presence disperses my gloom, and makes all within me rejoice:

I should, were He always thus nigh, have nothing to wish or to fear;

No mortal so happy as I, my summer would last all the year.

Content with beholding His face, my all to His pleasure resigned,

No changes of season or place, would make any change in my mind.

While blessed with a sense of His love, a palace a toy would appear;

And prisons would palaces prove, if Jesus would dwell with me there.

Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine, if Thou art my sun and my song;

Say, why do I languish and pine, and why are my winters so long?

O drive these dark clouds from my sky, Thy soul-cheering presence restore;

Or take me unto Thee on high, where winter and clouds are no more.

The Works of John Newton, Vol. 3, 358.

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