Can the rush grow up without mire? Can the flag grow without water?@Job 8:11
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William Croft (1678-1727)

Author unknown, before 1746. Original first line: Say, grows the rush without the mire?

Although sometimes attributed to Watts, to the present this hymn has not been traced to his works, and the earliest date at which it has been found is in the Draft Scot­tish Translations and Paraphrases of 1745, No. xxiv. Therein it is given as a Paraphrase of Job viii. 11-22…in the authorized Trans. and Parphs. of 1781, No. vi…[it] is claimed for W. Cam­er­on…by his eldest daughter, in her list of authors and revisers.

Julian, p. 998

St. Anne William Croft, 1708 (🔊 pdf nwc).

The rush may rise where waters flow,
And flags beside the stream;
But soon their verdure fades and dies
Before the scorching beam.

So is the sinner’s hope cut off;
Or, if it transient rise,
’Tis like the spider’s airy web,
From every breath that flies.

Fixed on his house, he leans; his house,
And all its props decay:
He holds it fast; but while he holds,
The tottering frame gives way.

Fair is his garden, to the sun
His boughs with verdure smile;
And, deeply fixed, his spreading roots
Unshaken stand a while.

But forth the sentence flies from Heaven,
That sweeps him from his place;
Which then denies him for its lord,
Nor owns it knew his face.

Lo! this the joy of wicked men,
Who Heaven’s high laws despise;
They quickly fall; and in their room,
As quickly others rise.

But, for the just, with gracious care,
God will His power employ;
He’ll teach their lips to sing His praise,
And fill their hearts with joy.