Deus Vobiscum

Darkly it dawns, the day of thy departing.
Soon in the West the sunbeam sinks from sight.
Say we, with vision blurred and bosoms smarting,
God’s will be done, for sure He doeth right.
Out from our firmament a sweet star falleth,
At the last kiss and clasp of trembling hands,
Yet must we murmur not, for He who calleth
Calls thee to shine for Him in other lands.
Not there to dwell, as tho’ thy feet had entered
In that unquiet land the rest of God,
Nay, rest is where the living Christ hath entered,
Where no defiling foot hath ever trod.
Here but to live for Him who died to save us,
Here to give light until the night is o’er.
This is the work the Lord of glory gave us,
Whose loving-kindnesses our souls adore.
Lone shall the house be now, drear and deserted,
Nothing on earth thy place can ever fill.
Were it His will that this could be averted,
How it would gladden us to have thee still!
Yet not our will be done but His who doeth
Nothing but good to those who love His name,
Who to His heaven high a pathway heweth
Right thro’ our sorrows and thro’ fire and flame.
And as to why His providence disposeth
Over the earth, His children, here and there,
Never the secret He to one discloseth,
All must their comfort find in faith and prayer.
Strange in the hemisphere to which thou goest,
Oft shall thy fancies cross the soundless sea,
Yea, and to meet them shall our thoughts, thou knowest,
Traverse the hoary deep’s immensity.
Not from that land the Holy City lieth
Farther away than any other spot,
And where one liveth, ay, or where one dieth,
Christ made the Object—Well, it matters not.
May He who stilled the Galilean waters,
And made the billows their Creator hear,
Guard, where the confidence of mortals totters,
Thee from the torment of all groundless fear.
And when the perils of the deep are ended,
And thou art safe upon the farther shore,
May He who saved, who succoured, and defended,
Be thy strong rock and refuge evermore.