1 My dearest friends, in bonds of love,
Our hearts in sweetest union prove;
Your friendship's like a drawing band,
Yet we must take the parting hand.
Your presence sweet, your union dear,
Your words delightful to my ear;
And when I see that we must part,
You draw like cords around my heart.
2 How sweet the hours have passed away,
When we have met to sing and pray;
How loath I've been to leave the place
Where Jesus shows His smiling face.
Oh, could I stay with friends so kind,
How would it cheer my struggling mind!
But duty makes me understand
That we must take the parting hand.
3 And since it is God's holy will,
We must be parted for awhile,
In sweet submission all in one,
We'll say, "Our Father's will be done."
Dear fellow youth in Christian ties,
Who seek for mansions in the skies,
Fight on, you'll win the happy shore,
Where parting hands are known no more.
4 How oft I've seen the flowing tears,
And heard you tell your hopes and fears;
Your hearts with love have seemed to flame,
Which makes me hope we'll meet again.
Ye mourning souls, in sad surprise,
Jesus remembers all your cries;
Oh, taste His grace, in all that land
We'll no more take the parting hand.
Source: The Christian Hymnary. Bks. 1-4 #620