Generosity (Smart)

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Hymn XXI. Generosity  (1771) 
by Christopher Smart
From the Hymns for the Amusement of Children (1771).
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                     HYMN XXI.                     

GENEROSITY.


That vast communicative mind,
That form'd the world and human kind,
      And saw that all was right;
Or was thyself, or came from Thee,
5 Stupendous generosity,
      Above all lustre bright.

"Not for themselves the bees prepare
"Their honey, and the fleecy care
      "Not for themselves are shorn:
10 "Not for themselves the warblers build,
"Not for themselves the lands are till'd,
      "By them that tread the corn."[1]

The Lord shed on the Holy Rood,
His infinitely gen'rous blood,
      15 Not for himself, but all;
Yea e'en for them that pierc'd his side,
In patient agony he dy'd,
      To remedy the fall.

O highly rais'd above the ranks
20 Of Angels — he cou'd e'en give thanks
      Self-rais'd, and self-renew'd —
Then who can praise, and love, and fear
Enough? — since he himself, 'tis clear,
      Is also gratitude.


1771


Notes

  1. 7—12.

    Hos ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores,
    Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves.
    Sic vos non vobis vellera fertis oves.
    Sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes.
    Sic vos non vobis fertis aratra boves.

    Attributed to Virgil.
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.