King Hezekiah lay diseased,
With every dangerous symptom seized,
Beyond the cure of art,
With languid pulse and strength decayed,
With spirits sunk, and soul dismayed,
And ready to depart.
His friends despair, his servants droop;
The learned leech can give no hope;
All signs of life are fled:
When lo! the seer Isaiah came,
With words to damp the expiring flame.
And strike the dying dead.
Entering the royal patient’s room,
He thus denounced the dreadful doom:
“Of flattering hopes beware,
God’s messenger behold I stand.
Thus saith the Lord, thy death’s at hand:
Prepare, O king, prepare.”
Methinks I hear the hero say:
“And must my life be snatched away,
Before I’m fit to die?
Can prayer reverse the stern decree,
And save a wretch condemned like me?
It may – at least I’ll try.”
He said; and weeping poured a prayer,
That conquered pain, removed despair,
With all its heavy load;
Repelled the force of death’s attack;
Brought the recanting prophet back,
And turned the mind of God.