|Contribute a translation||Source (English)|
Hymn of praise.
My heart overfloweth with gratitude, oh my God,
and knoweth not how to address itself to Thee.
Thy great mercies
and Thy never failing goodness
come before me,
and my heart is overwhelmed
and my lips are dumb;
but Thou, oh merciful and ever blessed God,
Thou canst look into the inmost soul of Thy servants,
and knowest their secret thoughts.
How can I praise Thee for all the blessings
with which Thou hast gilded my lot?
Teach me how to address Thee, oh my God,
that my lips may utter forth
the overflowings of my heart.
How can I repay
Thy never ceasing goodness?
Guide me, oh merciful God,
that I may know what path
is most acceptable to Thee.
With unnumbered blessings
Thou hast surrounded me,
and I know not in what way
to speak Thy praises.
Thou hast given me kind parents
who have led me, beneath Thy guidance,
in the right way.
Oh, if my heart breaks
when I think on all they have done for me,
and I know not how to show
my gratitude to them,
how dare I hope to utter forth
my gratitude to Thee, oh God,
when from Thy hand
all the happiness of this life cometh.
Thou hast in Thy mercy given me talents
which are not bestowed on every one,
and shall my foolish heart be lifted up in pride,
and look down upon my fellow creatures.
Oh, when I forget to whom I owe all these things,
remove from me those gifts Thou hast bestowed on me,
and sink me lower than those I may despise.
But my heart is not lifted up in pride;
it overfloweth with gratitude,
and knoweth not how to speak its praises.
Oh, when the affection
of those of my fellow creatures
who are dear to me,
when their affection is mine,
my heart gloweth in silent thanksgiving to Thee,
oh gracious and merciful God,
when they praise me for any talent I possess.
For the exquisite pleasure
such affection, such praise bestow,
my heart is lifted up to Thee as the source of all,
and longs to pour forth its gratitude
in a song of praise.
Oh Thou who canst read the human heart.
Thou who knowest the inability of words
to speak Thy praise,
let the silent gratitude
that filleth my overflowing heart
ascend to Thy Throne, oh our Father,
and be accepted by the God of Israel.
My lips are mute,
but my heart is filled with gratitude.
“Hymn of praise” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Essays and Miscellanies (1853), in the section “Sacred Communings,” pp. 184-185. In the UK edition of Sacred Communings (1853) the prayer appears with small variations of spelling and punctuation on pages 102-103.
As this prayer contains wards against pride due to praise, I infer that it was likely written upon receiving public acknowledgement and praise after completing and publishing an as yet unidentified writing project. Perhaps, the prayer may even have been anticipated by her “Prayer (Father of mercies),” a prayer of gratitude at the commencement of a writing project. The three writing projects of Aguilar’s completed in the 1830s while she lived in Teignmouth, Devon, were: The Vale of Cedars; or, the Martyr (begun in 1831 at the age of 15), her 1838 translation of Israel Defended by Orobio de Castro, and her The Magic Wreath of Hidden Flowers published in 1839 under anonymous authorship. –Aharon Varady
“Hymn of Praise, by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1830s)” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.