My God, how perfect are thy ways!
But mine polluted are;
Sin twines itself around my praise,
And slides into my prayer.
When I would speak what thou hast done
To save me from my sin,
I cannot make thy mercies known
But self-applause creeps in.
Divine desire, that holy flame
Thy grace creates in me,
Alas! Impatience is its name
When it returns to Thee.
The heart, a fountain of vile thoughts,
How does it overflow,
While self upon the surface floats
Still bubbling from below!
Let others in the gaudy dress
Of fancied merit shine;
The Lord shall be my righteousness;
The Lord for ever mine.
William Cowper (1731-1800).