The Heavenly City

  Home of glory! Crystal river!
    Gate of pearl! Pure golden street!
  Trod by feet defiling never,
    Never trod by mortal feet.

  Shall my pen be found comparing
    Earthly glories with that place?
  In its light was Eden sharing?
    Saw it Adam? Not a trace.

  In this land a thousand splendours
    Pass before me every day,
  And my heart rejoicing renders
    Thanks to God upon my way.

  When the evening shades were darkling,
    I have passed the lily by;
  Watched the dewdrop like a sparkling
    Ruby in its bosom lie;

  And I’ve thought of Him whose story
    Sets the weary heart at ease:
  “Solomon in all his glory
    Was not robed like one of these.”

  I have thought of lands far distant,
    Where perennial summer smiles,
  And to carols soft have listened
    Breaking from perfumed defiles.

  Vine and fig and palm tree flourish,
    Nature sheds profuse her store,
  Swarthy sons of Shem to nourish—
    Home of Beauty! Sunny shore!

  And I’ve passed on fancy’s pinions
    Where eternal winter piles
  Round her desolate dominions
    Mounds of ice like floating isles.

  I have seen the sun arising
    From his bed of purple light,
  And the shades of night surprising
    Put like giants great to flight.

  And I’ve seen him drop at even
    Into yellow seas of gold,
  Leaving on the brow of heaven
    Stars whose number is untold.

  And I’ve said: “His hand has made them,
    Guided by eternal skill,
  And in diverse robes arrayed them,
    Set them thus to do His will.”

  “And when they have served His pleasure,
    Like a dream they’ll pass away;
  All their brightness, all their treasure,
    All their glory, shall decay.”

  But this City fadeth never,
    Bright it beams in every part,
  Wall and gate and street and river,
    The creation of His heart.

  Home of glory! New creation!
    Radiant with love divine,
  Safe from sin’s accurst invasion—
    Home of Jesus! Home of mine!

  Living stones with glory blazing
    In the golden light of God,
  Countless thousands loudly praising
    Him who washed them in His blood.

  ’Tis our God and Father’s dwelling,
    ’Tis His children gathered home,
  Brought, with shouts of triumph swelling,
    From the desert and the tomb.

  Jesus Christ the Sun and Centre
    Of that universe of love:
  Happy those decreed to enter
    Through those gates of pearl above.