The Gourd

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 75

As once for Jonah, so the Lord
To soothe and cheer my mournful hours,
Prepared for me a pleasing gourd,
Cool was its shade, and sweet its flow'rs.

2. To prize his gift was surely right;
But through the folly of my heart,
It hid the Giver from my sight,
And soon my joy was changed to smart.

3. While I admired its beauteous form,
Its pleasant shade and graceful fruit;
The Lord, displeased, sent forth a worm,
Unseen, to prey upon the root.

4. I trembled when I saw it fade,
But guilt restrained the murm'ring word;
My folly I confessed, and prayed,
Forgive my sin, and spare my gourd.

5. His wondrous love can ne'er be told,
He heard me and relieved my pain;
His word the threat'ning worm controlled,
And bid my gourd revive again.

6. Now, Lord, my gourd is mine no more,
'Tis thine, who only couldst it raise;
The idol of my heart before,
Henceforth shall flourish to thy praise.

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