Why do we cling to earth? Its sweetest pleasures
Are transient as the snowflake of the spring;
Like early mist its most abiding treasures,
Or foam of ocean wave. To earth why do we cling?
Why do we cling to earth? Is it the fleeting brightness
Of her gay robes? fair fields, green forest trees,
Grand mountains, lovely dells, or gleaming whitness
Of silent snow? To heavenly beauties what are these?
Lovely, most lovely are earth’s radiant flowers,
Her very smiles of joy, aye chasing gloom;
But soon they wither in her happiest bowers:
In heaven doth the Rose of Sharon ever bloom!
And beautiful the gleaming wavelet dancing,
And wild cascade, rejoicing to be free,
And pure, cool fountains throught he green shades glancing:
In heaven the living streams well forth eternally!
Most glorious is the glowing sun on high,
The moon’s soft brilliance crowning the still night,
The million starry diamonds of the sky:
In heaven is God Himself the source of perfect light!
Sweet is earth’s music! whether o’er us stealeth
The lyre’s calm melody, or blackbird’s untaught lay,
Or harmony through shadowy aisles full pealeth:
In heaven new songs of rapture angel harps essay!
What though the eastern monarch’s robes are gleaming
With gold and orient gems, each gorgeous hue
With more than rainbow brightness in them beaming;
The robes of heaven are woven light, and ever new.
All these are beautiful; and we may love them
As His good gifts; but oh! they pass away:
Then cling not to them; seek, far, far above them
The joys ineffable, which fade not, nor decay.
But cling we to earth’s honours? WhHat delusion!
Immortal souls they ne’er may satisfy;
How mean, how small e’en tenfold their profusion
Beside heaven’s glorious crown and palm of victory.
Hath love of knowledge cast her fetters o’er us?
Here we know nothing! But in heaven’s bright day
The lore of ages will be spread before us,—
Yes, of eternity! illumed with truth’s pure ray.
Have we dear friends our fond affections chaining
To scenes of earth? But they may change, must die.
In heaven the purest love is ever reigning,
Far more abiding than the pillars of the sky.
Do we seek happines? No mirage fleeteth
More quickly than all happiness below,–
But oh! no heart may dream the joy which meeteth
The soul which wakes in heaven, its bliss here none can know.
Is holiness our heart’s intense desire?
Then every glance from earth must turn away.
In heaven all sinless is each voice, each lyre;
Heaven’s holiness is perfect, enless as its day.
Yes, beauty, light, and music are above;
There honour, wisdom, knowledge, all are given;
There is the home of friendship and of love,
And happiness and holiness, twin flowers of heaven.
But more, far more than all! ‘Tis God’s own dwelling,
Thrice blessed thought! ever with Him to be!
Eternity would be too short for telling
The bliss of even one unveiled glimpse of Thee.
To see, and know, and love, and praise for ever
The Saviour who hath died that we might live,
Where sorrow, pain, and death may enter never!
And ever learn new cause new songs of praise to give!
Oh, what a prospect! How, how can we cling
To earth’s dark dream, when such a hope is given?
Oh may we from this hour, on faith-plumed wing,
No longer cling to earth, but soar to yon bright heaven!