"My heart in groans its grief proclaims, / And melts, as wax before the flames"

— Merrick, James (1720-1769)

Place of Publication
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"My heart in groans its grief proclaims, / And melts, as wax before the flames"
Metaphor in Context
My God, my God, O tell me, why
Unheeded still ascends my cry,
Why thus from my afflicted heart
Thy presence and thy health depart.
Eternal Lord, throughout the day
With fruitless plaint to Thee I pray;
Nor sleeps the anguish of my soul,
When night's dark shades involve the pole.
Yet unimpeach'd thy Faith appears,
Thy Sanctity my heart reveres,
O Thou, to whom in homage join
The Sons of Jacob's chosen line.
Thee, Lord, our Sires their strength confest,
And found thee, as their stedfast breast
To Thee its full affiance gave,
Nor flow to hear, nor weak to save:
Secure thy wish'd for aid t' obtain,
In Thee they hop'd, nor hop'd in vain.
But what am I? A Man in form,
Yet brother to the trampled worm;
An outcast from the human kind,
To fierce derision's rage consign'd:
They shake the head, they shout, they gaze;
Each eye, each lip, contempt betrays:
"On God, they cry, thy hope was staid;
"Be God, if His thou art, thy aid."
Thine, mightiest Father, thine I am;
By Thee from out the womb I came,
From Thee my ev'ry comfort sprung,
While yet upon the breast I hung.
Hail, from my birth and to my end
My God, my Guardian, and my Friend.
O view me not with distant eye,
While various griefs await me nigh:
Thy aid withheld, what friendly pow'r
Shall shield me in the dang'rous hour?
See Bulls unnumber'd round me stand,
Bulls, nurs'd in Basan's fertile land;
With wide-extended mouth they roar,
Nor rage the famish'd Lions more,
When nightly through the starless gloom
Along the howling Wild they roam.
My frame, disjoin'd, in swift decay
Wastes like the running stream away;
My heart in groans its grief proclaims,
And melts, as wax before the flames
Fast to my jaws my tongue is chain'd,
My flesh, its vital moisture drain'd,
Dry as the clay-form'd vase appears,
And, while thy chastisement it bears,
Waits till thy hand resume my breath,
And lodge me in the dust of death.
Thou seest my soul by Dogs pursu'd,
Dogs fierce of kind, and train'd to blood;
Thou seest a throng, who Thee despise,
In dreadful siege against me rise,
And, while fast-issuing streams the gore,
My hands and feet relentless bore.
My starting bones to ev'ry eye
Expos'd, O Ye that, passing by,
In wonder (not in pity) join,
O say, was ever grief like mine?
My raiment each with each divides,
My vesture, as the lot decides,
Becomes some new possessor's spoil,
The prize that crowns his impious toil.
My God, my Strength, recede not far,
But haste, and make my soul thy care,
My soul, pursu'd by hostile hate,
Afflicted, helpless, desolate;
O turn th' impending swords away,
Nor yield it to the Dog a prey.
The foaming Lion's wrath assuage,
Nor let the Oryx, in his rage,
With headlong force against me borne,
Aim at my life the pointed horn.
So will I joy thy honour'd name
Amidst my Brethren to proclaim,
And gath'ring Crouds shall hear my tongue
Thus to my God awake the song.
"Exalt, Ye Saints, the Pow'r divine,
"Exalt him, All of Jacob's line,
"And let each Tribe with duteous fear
"His boundless Majesty revere.
"'Tis not in Him, with cold disdain
"To hear the helpless Poor complain;
"He (nor with unrelenting eye)
"Each falling tear, each heaving sigh,
"Regards, attentive to perceive
"Their wants, and faithful to relieve."
Such Strains thy Mercy shall inspire,
While in the full-assembled Choir
To Thee the votive Song I raise,
And thankful pay my debt of praise.
To You, Ye humble, meek, and good,
Who ask from Israel's Lord your food,
His hand indulgent from on high
Shall yield at full the wish'd supply:
Who seek like You their God, like You
To Him their praises shall renew,
Whose Love immortal life imparts,
And swells with joy their conscious hearts.
Maker of All! through ev'ry Land
Thy Deeds in full record shall stand,
And farthest Realms converted join
In homage to the Name divine;
Ev'n Kings in Thee their Mightier greet,
And lay their scepters at thy feet.
Earth's countless tribes the festal board
(Thy grace by sacrifice implor'd,)
Shall spread; and All, whose mortal frame
Th' insatiate Grave prepares to claim,
Thy Pow'r, immortal Judge, shall own,
And prostrate kneel before thy Throne.
See, while by Thee redeem'd I live,
A Race from Me their birth derive,
(A Race by just possession thine,)
Whose heart thy Spirit shall incline
The precepts of thy Will t' obey,
Whose tongue thy glory shall display,
And bid thy righteous Acts engage
The wonder of the future Age.
Searching "heart" and "wax" in HDIS (Poetry)
Psalm 22
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.