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Father! I would not dare to choose

A longer life, — an earlier death;
I know not what my soul might lose

By shortened or protracted breath.

These border lands are calm and still,

And solemn are their silent shades; And my heart welcomes them until

The light of life's long evening fades.

I heard them spoken of with dread,

As fearful and unquiet places; Shades where the living and the dead

Look sadly in each other's faces.

But since Thy hand hath led me here,

And I have seen the border land, — Seen the dark river Aowing near,

Stood on its brink as now I stand,

There has been nothing to alarm

My trembling soul ; how could I fear While thus encircled with Thine arm?

I never felt Thee half so near.

What should appall me in a place

That brings me hourly nearer Thee ? Where I may almost see Thy face, –

Surely 't is here my soul would be !

They say the waves are dark and deep, —

That faith has perished in the river ; They speak of death with fear — and weep;

Shall my soul perish? never, never !

I know that Thou wilt never leave

The soul that trembles while it clings To Thee; I know Thou wilt achieve

Its passage on Thine outstretched wings.

I cannot see the golden gate

Unfolding yet to welcome me; I cannot yet anticipate

The joy of heaven's jubilee.

But I will calmly watch and pray,

Until I hear my Saviour's voice Calling my happy soul away

To see His glory, and rejoice.


L OW meanly dwells the immortal mind! 11 How vile these bodies are ! Why was a clod of earth designed

To enclose a heavenly star?

Weak cottage where our souls reside!

This Aesh a tottering wall,
With frightful breaches gaping wide,

The building bends to fall.

All round it storms of trouble blow,

And waves of sorrow roll ; Cold winds and winter storms beat through,

And pain the tenant soul.

“ Alas ! how frail our state!” said I,

And thus went murmuring on, Till sudden from the clearing sky

A gleam of glory shone.

My soul felt all the glory come,

And breathed her native air; Then the remembered heaven her home, .

And she a prisoner here.

Straight she began to change her key,

And, joyful in her pains,
She sung the frailty of her clay

In pleasurable strains.

How weak the prison where I dwell!

Flesh but a tottering wall ; These breaches cheerfully foretell

The house must shortly fall.

No more, my friends, shall I complain,

Though all my heart-strings ache ; Welcome disease and every pain

That makes the cottage shake!

Now let the tempest blow around,

Now swell the surges high,
And beat the house of bondage down,

And let the stranger Aly!

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I AM old and blind ! 1 Men point at me as smitten by God's frown ; Amicted and deserted of my kind ;

Yet I am not cast down.

I am weak, yet strong ;
I murmur not that I no longer see ;
Poor, old, and helpless, I the more belong,

Father supreme! to Thee.

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Thy glorious face
Is leaning toward me; and its holy light
Shines in upon my lonely dwelling-place, —

And there is no more night.

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I have naught to fear;
This darkness is the shadow of thy wing ;
Beneath it I am almost sacred; here

Can come no evil thing.

O, I seem to stand Trembling, where foot of mortal ne'er hath been, Wrapped in the radiance of thy sinless land,

Which eye hath never seen.

Visions come and go:
Shapes of resplendent beauty round me throng ;
From angel lips I seem to hear the flow

Of soft and holy song.

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