Thursday, November 26, 2009

Providence and the Pilgrim

Among the records published by Nathaniel Morton in his New-England's Memorial (1669, considered the first history book published in the United States), is a poem by his uncle, the Pilgrim Father William Bradford, about his conversion and life. Morton prefaced the poem thus:

Certain verses left by the honored William Bradford, Esq. governor of the jurisdiction of Plimouth, penned by his own hand, declaring the gracious dispensations of God's providence towards him in the time of his life, and his preparation and fittedness for death.

From my years young in days of youth,
God did make known to me his truth,
And call'd me from my native place
For to enjoy the means of grace.
In wilderness he did me guide,
And in strange lands for me provide.
In fears and wants, through weal and woe,
A pilgrim, passed I to and fro :
Oft left of them whom I did trust;
How vain it is to rest on dust!
A man of sorrows I have been,
And many changes have I seen.
Wars, wants, peace, plenty, have I known;
And some advanc'd, others thrown down.
The humble poor, cheerful and glad;
Rich, discontent, sower and sad :

When fears and sorrow have been mixt,
Consolations came betwixt.
Faint not, poor soul, in God still trust,
Fear not the things thou suffer must;
For, whom he loves he doth chastise,
And then all tears wipes from their eyes.
Farewell, dear children, whom I love,
Your better Father is above:
When I am gone, he can supply;
To him I leave you when I die.
Fear him in truth, walk in his ways,
And he will bless you all your days.
My days are spent, old age is come,
My strength it fails, my glass near run.
Now I will wait, when work is done,
Until my happy change shall come,
When from my labors I shall rest,
With Christ above for to be blest.

1 comment:

  1. Very moving. Thank you for posting