"Blessed Are the Dead Which Die in the Lord"
When Heaven from earth hath called its own -And the blest spirit upward flies
To bow before the Father's throne?Or deem ye that 'tis grief to be
Amid the Seraphim above,Robed in their immortality,
And burning with their quenchless love?
O, Death is not that fearful thing,
Whose dread approach may fright him now;Nor doth to him, the giant king,
Reveal the terrors of his brow;'Tis only for the world's dull slave
To fear life's dark and closing scene;But Faith smiles brightest on the grave
Which Hope hath strewed with evergreen.
And though he sees Death's brandished dart,
It cannot bring one fear to him,One doubt to chill his anxious heart,
Or make his holy faith grow dim;For lo, e'en on its point appears
A message from the LORD of love,To call him from this vale of tears,
Unto a brighter land above.
Then as the loved one bows his head,
And sinks in deep submission down,The weapon from its rest is sped,
And takes but off - that thorny crownWhich all CHRIST'S followers on earth
Have like their sinless Master borne,In token of their lowly birth -
Say it is not a blessed gain
A pledge "that man was made to mourn."
That thus to leave this world of sin,Where poverty and tears seemed over vain,
To overcome the foe within;And nought but GOD'S free given grace
Could make him victor in the strife,Or proffer to his caring [ ] gaze
The victor's prize, a [ ] of life?
O then, drop ye no tears for him,
For he no tears shall ever know -Or aught that can those blessings dim,
Which from his Maker's presence flow:But like that brightly beaming star
The first sweet visitant of even,So shall he shine - and brighter far -
In yon blest firmament of Heaven.