Anne Steele knew suffering and sorrow. She also knew rhyme, meter, and sound doctrine. In this poem, titled “At the Funeral of a Young Person,” she puts all on full display and so powerfully directs mourners to ensure they do not miss the opportunity to consider the state of their own souls.
When blooming youth is snatched away
By death’s resistless hand,
Our hearts the mournful tribute pay
Which pity must demand.
While pity prompts the rising sigh,
O may this truth, impress’d
With awful power,—”I too must die:”
Sink deep in every breast.
Let this vain world engage no more;
Behold the gaping tomb!
It bids us seize the present hour,
Tomorrow death may come.
The voice of this alarming scene,
May every heart obey;
Nor be the heavenly warning vain,
Which calls to watch and pray.
Oh, let us fly—to Jesus fly,
Whose powerful arm can save;
Then shall our hopes ascend on high,
And triumph o’er the grave.
Great God! thy sovereign grace impart,
With cleansing, healing power;
This only can prepare the heart
For death’s surprising hour.