An Excellent Hymn

Lord, with glowing heart I’d praise thee
For this bliss thy love bestows
For the pard’ning grace that saves me
And the peace that from it flows
Help, O God, my weak endeavor
This dull soul to rapture raise
Thou must light the flame or never
Can my love be warmed to praise

Praise, my soul, the God that sought thee
Wretched wand’rer far astray
Found the lost and kindly bought thee
From the paths of death away
Praise, with love’s devoutest feeling,
Him who saw thy guilt-born fear
And, the light of hope revealing,
Bade the blood-stain’d cross appear

Praise the Savior God that drew thee
To that cross, new life to give
Held a blood sealed pardon to thee
Bade thee look to him and live
Praise the grace whose threats alarmed thee
Roused thee from thy fatal ease
Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee
Praise the grace that whispered peace

Lord, this bosom’s ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express
Low before thy footstool kneeling
Deign thy suppliant’s prayer to bless
Let thy love, my soul’s chief treasure
Love’s pure flame within me raise
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth thy praise

—Francis Scott Key