Those Eternal Bowers

Representative Text

Those eternal bowers
Man hath never trod,
Those unfading flowers
Round the Throne of GOD:
Who may hope to gain them
After weary fight?
Who at length attain them
Clad in robes of white?

He, who gladly barters
All on earthly ground;
He who, like the Martyrs,
Says, ‘I WILL be crowned:’
He, whose one oblation
Is a life of love;
Clinging to the nation
Of the Blest above.

Shame upon you, legions
Of the Heavenly King,
Denizens of regions
Past imagining!
What! with pipe and tabor
Fool away the light,
When He bids you labour,—
When He tells you,—‘Fight!’

While I do my duty,
Struggling through the tide,
Whisper Thou of beauty
On the other side!
Tell who will the story
Of our now distress:
Oh the future glory!
Oh the loveliness!

Hymns of the Eastern Church, 1866

Translator: John Mason Neale

John M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome; in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive; of scholarly tem­perament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area; often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi… Go to person page >

Author: St. John of Damascus

Eighth-century Greek poet John of Damascus (b. Damascus, c. 675; d. St. Sabas, near Jerusalem, c. 754) is especially known for his writing of six canons for the major festivals of the church year. John's father, a Christian, was an important official at the court of the Muslim caliph in Damascus. After his father's death, John assumed that position and lived in wealth and honor. At about the age of forty, however, he became dissatisfied with his life, gave away his possessions, freed his slaves, and entered the monastery of St. Sabas in the desert near Jerusalem. One of the last of the Greek fathers, John became a great theologian in the Eastern church. He defended the church's use of icons, codified the practices of Byzantine chant, and wr… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Those eternal bowers
Title: Those Eternal Bowers
Translator: John Mason Neale (1862)
Author: St. John of Damascus (780)
Meter: 6.5.6.5 D
Source: Greek
Language: English

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The Cyber Hymnal #6671
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The Cyber Hymnal #6671

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