1 Spirit, leave thy house of clay;
Lingering dust, resign thy breath;
Spirit, cast thy chains away;
Dust, be thou dissolved in death!
Thus the mighty Saviour speaks,
While the faithful Christian dies;
Thus the bonds of life he breaks,
And the ransomed captive flies.
2 Prisoner, long detained below,
Prisoner, now with freedom blest,
Welcome from a world of woe;
Welcome to a land of rest:
Thus the choir of angels sing,
As they bear the soul on high,
While with hallelujahs ring
All the regions of the sky.
3 Grave! the guardian of our dust,
Grave! the treasury of the skies,
Every atom of thy trust
Rests in hope again to rise!
Hark! the judgment-trumpet calls--
Soul, rebuild thy house of clay:
Immortality thy walls,
And eternity thy day.
Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #918
Spirit, leave thine house of clay. J. Montgomery. [Death and Burial.] This, in its original form, is a poem in 14 stanzas of 4 lines. It was printed in Montgomery's Iris newspaper, July 14, 1803, and repeated in his Wanderer of Switzerland, and other Poems, in 1806, and again in his Poetical Works in 1828 and 1841. Its origin is explained in its title, which reads:—
”Verses to the Memory of the late Joseph Browne, of Lothersdale, one of the People called Quakers, Who suffered a long Confinement in the Castle of York, and Loss of all his worldly Property, for Conscience Sake."
To adapt the poem for congregational use stanzas i.-iv., xiii., and xiv., were slightly altered, and given in Collyer's Collection, 1812. This form was repeated in J. Conder's Congregational Hymn Book, 1836; the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853, and others, as "Spirit, leave thy house of clay."
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)