The Heart’s Desire

  Lord Jesus, blest Son of the Father, as nearing
    The end of our pilgrimage, weary and worn,
  Thy footfall on cloud-land we long to be hearing,
    We long to behold Thee, Bright Star of the Morn.

  As the wayfarer lone upon bleak pathless mountains
    Looks earnestly eastward for signals of day;
  As the thirsty soul, desert-hound, faints for the fountains,
    To drive from his heart the hot fever away:

  So lift we our eyes to the blue dome above us,
    Where saw Thy disciples their Lord disappear;
  So faint we to see Thee who loved and will love us,
    In life as in death, in the glory as here.

  It may be that weak is our warmest affection,
    That the glitter of earth has bedazzled the eye;
  It may be in much there’s been sorry defection,
    That our ways to our words oft have given the lie.

  As the compass subjected to counter attraction,
    For the moment may seem to the pole-star untrue
  So the world with suggestions of soul-satisfaction
    May have caused us to swerve from the prospect in view.

  But in spite of our moments of sad oscillation,
    Our woeful consent to the world and its ways,
  Our wretched retreat before hostile invasion,
    Our blindness amid this religious maze—

  We love Thee—have loved Thee—have longed to behold Thee
    Since the moment we heard of Thine excellent name.
  How dear Thou art to us, how oft we have told Thee,
    Our hearts with Thy holy affections aflame.

  Not yet have we seen Thee; Thy fame we have heard it,
    The fight Thou hast fought and the field Thou hast won;
  Thy reproach, we have borne it; Thy shame we have shared it—
    Our richest inheritance under the sun.

  We, the fruit of Thy soul’s all unspeakable sorrow,
    For whom in the dungeon of death Thou hast lain,
  Look longingly upward for tokens of morrow,
    And ceaselessly cry for Thy coming again.

  No home in this waste have we found since we knew Thee,
    Since first fell Thy heavenly voice on our ear—
  Since we tasted Thy grace thought-surpassing, which drew Thee
    To walk through the valley of death with us here.

  Belov’d of our souls! Well-belov’d of the Father!
    Omnipotent Saviour, Redeemer, and Guide,
  O come, and from waste and from wilderness gather
    Thy loved ones for whom Thou hast suffered and died.

  O come with Thy shout, Lord, triumphant, victorious,
    With the voice of archangel and trumpet of God;
  Call us hence to those halls of light, radiant, glorious,
    That home of our hearts, love’s eternal abode.