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OFT as the bell, with solemn toll,
Only this frail and fleeting breath
Then, leaving all I lov'd below,
But could I bear to hear him say,
Lord Jesus ! help me now to flee,
Then, when the solemn bell I hear,
Rather, my spirit would rejoice;
WHEN faith and love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripened thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load Of death, called life ; which us from life doth sever. Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour,
Staid not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But, as faith pointed with her golden rod, Followed thee up to joy and bliss for ever! Love led them on, and faith, who knew them best,
Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple beams And azure wings, that up they flew so dressed, And spake the truth of thee in glorious themes
Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee rest, And drink thy fill of pure
When musing sorrow weeps the past,
And mourns the present pain, How sweet to think of peace at last,
And feel that death is gain !
'Tis not, that murm’ring thoughts arise,
And dread a Father's will; 'Tis not, that meek submission flies,
And would not suffer still :
It is, that heaven-born Faith surveys
The path to realms of light;
And lose herself in sight:
It is, that Hope with ardour glows
To see Him face to face, Whose dying love no language knows
Sufficient art to trace:
It is, that harass'd Conscience feels
The pangs of struggling sin; Sees, from afar, the hand which heals,
And ends her wars within.
Oh let me wing my hallow'd flight,
From earth-born woe and care, And soar above these clouds of night,
My Saviour's bliss to share !
These hearts, alas ! cleave to the dust
By strong and endless ties; Whilst every sorrow cuts a string,
And urges us to rise.
When heaven would kindly set us free,
And earth’s enchantment end, It takes the most effectual way,
And robs us of a friend.
Resign--and all the load of life
That moment you remove;
Devolve on One above
Who bids us lay our burden down
On His Almighty hand; Softens our duty to relief,
To blessing a command.
EARTH! guard what here we lay in holy trust;
That which hath left our home a darkened place, Wanting the form, the smile, now veiled in dust,
The light departed with our loveliest face.
But thou, oh heaven! keep, keep what thou hast taken,
And with our tears O keep our hearts on high! The spirit meek, and yet by pain unshaken,
The faith, the love, the lofty constancy, Guide us where these are with our sister flown They were of Thee, and thou hast claimed thine own.
FORGIVE, blest shade, the tributary tear,
That mourns thy exit from a world like this; Forgive the wish that would have kept thee here,
And stayed thy progress to the seats of bliss.
No more a tenant pent in mortal clay;
And track thy journey to the realms of day.