I am fond of the swallow—I learn from her flight

I am fond of the swallow, I learn from her flight

Translator: William Cowper; Author: Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
Published in 3 hymnals

Full Text

I am fond of the swallow—I learn from her flight,
Had I skill to improve it, a lesson of love:
How seldom on earth do we see her alight!
She dwells in the skies, she is ever above.

It is on the wing that she takes her repose,
Suspended and poised in the regions of air,
'Tis not in our fields that her sustenance grows,
It is winged like herself—'tis ethereal fare.

She comes in the spring, all the summer she stays,
And, dreading the cold, still follows the sun—
So, true to our love, we should covet his rays,
And the place where he shines not immediately shun.

Our light should be love, and our nourishment prayer;
It is dangerous food that we find upon earth;
The fruit of this world is beset with a snare,
In itself it is hurtful, as vile in its birth.

'Tis rarely, if ever, she settles below,
And only when building a nest for her young;
Were it not for her brood, she would never bestow
A thought upon anything filthy as dung.

Let us leave it ourselves ('tis a mortal abode),
To bask every moment in infinite love;
Let us fly the dark winter, and follow the road
That leads to the dayspring appearing above.

Translations from the French of Madame de la Mothe Guion

Translator: William Cowper

Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25,1800. The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hastin… Go to person page >

Author: Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon

Guyon, Madame. (1648-1717.) Jeanne Marie Bouyieres de la Mothe was the leader of the Quietist movement in France. The foundation of her Quietism was laid in her study of St. Francis de Sales, Madame de Chantal, and Thomas รค Kempis, in the conventual establishments of her native place, Montargis (Dep. Loiret), where she was educated as a child. There also she first learned the sentiment of espousal with Christ, to which later years gave a very marked development. She was married at sixteen to M. Guyon, a wealthy man of weak health, twenty-two years her senior, and her life, until his death, in 1676, was, partly from disparity of years, partly from the tyranny of her mother-in-law, partly from her own quick temper, an unhappy one. Her public… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I am fond of the swallow, I learn from her flight
Title: I am fond of the swallow—I learn from her flight
Translator: William Cowper
Author: Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
Language: English

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 3 of 3)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Hymns, Selected from Various Authors, for the Use of Young Persons 3rd Am. from 9th London ed. #d110
Hymns, Selected from Various Authors, for the Use of Young Persons #d101
Translations from the French of Madame de la Mothe Guion #3Text



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