Lines Written in November, 1834

“Lines Written in November, 1834”
 
They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” — Isaiah xl. 38.
 
With sun-bright eye, and soaring flight,
The eagle scales the rough rock’s height;
Then sinks with folded plumes to rest,
Secure within its lofty nest.
 
Lo! upward borne, on wing sublime,
Beyond the turbid waves of time,
My spirit seeks repose above,
Beneath the shade of sovereign love.
 
He bids me rise: his voice Divine
Allures me to that inmost shrine;
Bids me, in whispers soft and sweet,
Approach that sprinkled mercy-seat.
 
I come, in want and weakness, known,
In all their depths, to Him alone;
On him to wait in lowly prayer,
Till he shall meet and bless me there.
 
On him I wait; nor wait in vain;
I feel pervading power sustain
My troubled, strengthless, flutt’ring breast,
So long by guilt, by fear, oppress’d.
 
I see, while in his presence bow’d,
Bright through the veiling incense-cloud,
Resplendent break those glories mild,
Which speak my Father reconciled.
 
I see, within that hallow’d shrine,
The consecrated Priest Divine;
His hand the golden censer bears,
He pleads my cause, presents my prayers.
 
Lo! glad in strength renew’d I rise,
Unwearied press to grasp the prize;
Surmount the lingering mists of time,
And gain, e’en now, a loftier clime.
 
On wings of faith, of hope, I soar,
By darkling fears detain’d no more;
With joy pursue my upward way,
And hail the dawn of endless day.
 
Yes, glorious visions meet my eye,
Which eagle, soaring to the sky
In golden sun-light, never scann’d,
The splendours of that far-off land.
 
There, by those streams of holy light,
Which downward dart their radiance bright,
I see the heaven prepared for me,
When life absorbs mortality.
 
Those hallow’d realms, how calm, how fair!
How pure the sacred pleasures there,
Where seraphs, veil’d, adoring stand,
And rapture stays the minstrel’s hand!
 
There prostrate elders lowly bend;
There songs from mystic powers ascend;
There saints, in choral shouts, proclaim,
One great, one high, one only Name!
 
Bow to that Name, ye thrones of light!
There cast your crowns, ye seraphs bright!
My soul, present thy homage there,
The bliss of saints, of angels, share.
 
Who dwells within that veiled shrine?
Who claims that worship all Divine?
‘T is He, the Lamb, who press’d for me
The blood-stain’d height of Calvary!
 
Hail! holy Victim! lo! I rise,
Through thy all-perfect sacrifice;
With strength renew’d, to urge my way,
Though hell and death my course would stay.
 
On wings of faith, of hope, I soar,
That far-off land with joy explore;
I ‘ve pass’d within the eternal shrine,
I bask in light and love Divine.
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