O FATHER, list a sinner's call!

Fain would I hide from man my fall—

      But I must speak, or faint—

I cannot wear guilt's silent thrall:

      Cleanse me, kind Saint!


"Sinner ne'er blunted yet sin's goad;

Speed thee, my son, a safer road,

      And sue His pardoning smile

Who walk'd woe's depths, bearing man's load

      Of guilt the while."


Yet raise a mitigating hand,

And minister some potion bland,

      Some present fever-stay!

Lest one for whom His work was plann'd

      Die from dismay. 


"Look not to me—no grace is mine;

But I can lift the Mercy-sign.

      This wouldst thou? Let it be!

Kneel down, and take the word divine,

      ABSOLVO TE."


Off Cape St. Vincent.
December 14, 1832.

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