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Hymns for the Amusement of Children (1791)/Hope

For works with similar titles, see Hope.



Ah! Hannah, why should'st thou despair,
      Quick to the Tabernacle speed;
There on thy knees prefer thy pray'r,
      And there thy cause to mercy plead.

5 Her pious breathings now ascend,
      As from her heart the sighs she heaves;
And angels to her suit attend,
      Till strong in hope she now conceives.

Then Samuel soon was brought to light
      10 To serve the Lord, as yet a child —[1]
O what a heart — reviving sight!
      Sure Cherubims and Seraphs smil'd.

Thus yet a child may I begin,
      To serve the Lord with all my heart;
15 To shun the wily lures of sin,
      And claim the prize, or e're I start. [2]



The story of Hannah and the birth of her son Samuel (1 Sam. 1), was favorite of Smart's (see "Jubilato Agno", B458 etc.).
  1. 9—10. See 1 Sam. 2:11.
  2. 16. And claim the prize, or e're I start. — "e're" printed as "ere" in ed. 1772 and 1786, and "before" in ed, 1772a. Cf. Phil. 3:14: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus".

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.