My God! how perfect are Thy ways!
But mine polluted are;
Sin twines itself about 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.
This 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, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), number 67.