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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Resignation

By Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770)

O GOD! whose thunder shakes the sky,

Whose eye this atom-globe surveys,

To thee, my only rock, I fly,—

Thy mercy in thy justice praise.

The mystic mazes of thy will,

The shadows of celestial night,

Are past the power of human skill;

But what the Eternal acts is right.

O teach me, in the trying hour—

When anguish swells the dewy tear—

To still my sorrows, own thy power,

Thy goodness love, thy justice fear.

If in this bosom aught but thee,

Encroaching, sought a boundless sway,

Omniscience could the danger see,

And Mercy look the cause away.

Then why, my soul, dost thou complain—

Why drooping seek the dark recess?

Shake off the melancholy chain;

For God created all to bless.

But ah! my breast is human still;

The rising sigh, the falling tear,

My languid vitals’ feeble rill,

The sickness of my soul declare.

But yet, with fortitude resigned,

I’ll thank the Inflictor of the blow—

Forbid the sigh, compose my mind,

Nor let the gush of misery flow.

The gloomy mantle of the night,

Which on my sinking spirit steals,

Will vanish at the morning light,

Which God, my East, my Sun, reveals.