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Ephraim Repenting

 (Jeremiah, xxxi.
18-20) My God, till I received Thy stroke, How like a beast was I! So unaccustom'd to the yoke, So backward to comply.
With grief my just reproach I hear; Shame fills me at the thought, How frequent my rebellions were, What wickedness I wrought.
Thy merciful restraint I scorn'd, And left the pleasant road; Yet turn me, and I shall be turn'd; Thou art the Lord my God.
"Is Ephraim banish'd from my thoughts, Or vile in my esteem? No," saith the Lord, "with all his faults, I still remember him.
"Is he a dear and pleasant child? Yes, dear and pleasant still; Though sin his foolish heart beguiled, And he withstood my will.
"My sharp rebuke has laid him low, He seeks my face again; My pity kindles at his woe, He shall not seek in vain.

Poem by William Cowper
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