Once I had a fervent heart

Once I had a fervent heart,
  And growth in Christ did seek.
Sadly now I love the world;
  My walk with Him is weak.
Day and night I was refreshed,
  In testimony bold,
Minding not the sufferings,
  But now my heart is cold.
  How was I distracted—
The Father to ignore?
In deep grief He acted,
How can my heart ignore?
Once I yielded all my heart.
  Not serving for reward;
But the world has used me now;
  I’m with the worldly hoard.
Once I worshipped, now I roam,
  Indulging to amuse;
Wasting days, repenting not;
  I precious grace refuse.
Once my heart loved only Him,
  And time with Him would keep;
Ardently I thought of Him
  In waking and asleep.
Worldly favor then I shunned,
  The things did disregard;
Now those worldly things I seek,
  By earth I now am marred.
At His throne I knelt each day,
  And glory filled my heart;
Union to His will I vowed,
  Nor wanted to depart.
Happily my choice I’d lose,
  None else but His to seek.
But much time has passed since then;
  My zeal for God is weak.
Lab’ring vainly ’neath the sun
  Like shadow and like wind,
Far from His directed flock,
  To vanity did tend.
Things of earth will soon be gone;
  Why let them rule my soul?
Once I watched for His return;
  Why take the wav’ring role?
Soon the Morning Star appears;
  All life on earth grows short.
This foul place I then must leave,
  Unto His arms resort.
Satan and his world reject,
  Taste new grace once again,
Now regain my long lost love,
  Refuse my shameful stain.
  To His path returning,
All the world ignoring,
Glory soon appearing
I’d suffer willingly.


Now regain my long lost love,

Refuse my shameful stain.


Milwaukee, WI, United States

Is the author, date and circumstance of this hymn known? It is so genuine. Tom.