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“WITHIN THE VAIL”
Homesick for heaven? and longing for its rest?
And does the way seem long that leads thee there?
Lift up thine eyes, the “vail” is growing thin
That separates us from its glories rare.
But yesterday a dear one passed beyond—
“Within the vail”—and entered into rest;
And as she passed we caught a radiant glimpse,
As when effulgent glory shineth in the west.
Another link is added to the chain
Of precious gold that draws us surely home,
Another strand is twined with the cord
Of love that holds us that we may not roam.
Yes, one by one his saints are passing o’er,
His loved from shadows into heaven’s pure light,
Into the joy of his dear presence, where
They feel no more the darkness of earth’s night.
But sweeter, grander still, “within the vail”
That almost grows transparent to our gaze,
We see our Master, our beloved Lord,
And lift to him our rapturous songs of praise.
So near we are, we almost catch the strains
Of heavenly music from celestial choirs.
Can we not bide with patience one more hour?
We’ve almost reached the goal of our desires!
Then let us not go mourning on our way,
But let our hearts be light, our faces glad,
These pressing burdens we shall soon lay down
Forevermore; why, then, should we be sad?
“A cloud of witnesses” behold our course
With interest intense, and shall we fail?
Our race is almost run;—Lord, nerve our hearts,
And scatter every doubt that doth assail.
So clarify our clouded vision, Lord,
So lift our thoughts and hearts to things above,
That earthly woes shall have no power to vex,
Nor separate us from thy grace and love.
While still we toss on life’s tempestuous sea,
Shield from the rocks our tiny barques so frail,
Stand at the helm, and guide us safely till
We, too, are anchored safe “within the vail.”
—Alice G. James.
— March 15, 1908 —
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