Anne Steele was the daughter of Particular Baptist preacher and timber merchant William Steele. She spent her entire life in Broughton, Hampshire, near the southern coast of England, and devoted much of her time to writing. Some accounts of her life portray her as a lonely, melancholy invalid, but a revival of research in the last decade indicates that she had been more active and social than what was previously thought. She was theologically conversant with Dissenting ministers and "found herself at the centre of a literary circle that included family members from various generations, as well as local literati." She chose a life of singleness to focus on her craft. Before Christmas in 1742, she declined a marriage proposal from contemporar… Go to person page >
Alas! what hourly dangers rise. Anne Steele. [Watchfulness.] First published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. pp. 79-80, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "Watchfulness and Prayer," Matt. xxvi. 7 It was also reprinted in subsequent editions of the Poems, and in Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, 1863. In Williams & Boden's Collection, 1801, No. 362, it was abbreviated to 4 stanzas, and this example has been mostly followed to the present day. Its use in Great Britain is very limited; but in America it is somewhat extensive, and varies in length from 3 to 5 stanzas, the Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, No. 637, being an exception in favour of the complete text, with the single alteration of " my" to "mine eyes" in stanza 1.