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Father! I would not dare to choose
A longer life, — an earlier death;
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,
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,
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 let the stranger Aly!
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 ;
Father supreme! to Thee.
Thy glorious face
And there is no more night.
I have naught to fear;
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:
Of soft and holy song.