Hymns for the Amusement of Children (1791)/Silence
Before thy betters with suspense,
Into thyself withdraw
Silence denotes superior sense,
And shews superior awe.
5Keep blessing still within thy heart,
In meditation meek;
Thus thou'rt prepar'd to act thy part.
When urg'd at length to speak.
When words break forth not duly weigh'd
10From out the babbler's tongue,
Full many a mournful mischief's made,
Full many a conscience stung.
Then pray with David, that the Lord
Wou'd keep himself the door;
15And all things from thy lips award,
That make thy brother sore.
But if there be a point to praise
Some godly deed of price,
With all thy might thy plaudits raise,
Here silence were a vice.
- 15. award = ward off.
- 13—16. Psalms 141:3: "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips".