Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore thee;
Though sorrows and darkness encompass the tomb;
The Savior has passed through its portals before thee,
And the lamp of his love is thy guide through the gloom,
(Repeat previous line).
Thou art gone to the grave—we no longer behold thee,
Nor tread the rough paths of the world by thy side;
But the wide arms of mercy are spread to enfold thee
And sinners may hope, since the Savior hath died.
Thou art gone to the grave—and thy cradle's forsaken.
With us thy fond spirit did not tarry long,
But the sunshine of heaven beamed bright on thy waking,
And the sound thou didst hear was the seraphim's song.
Thou art gone to the grave, but 'twere wrong to deplore thee,
When God was thy ransom, and guardian, and guide.
He gave thee, and took thee, and soon will restore thee,
Where death hath no sting, since the Savior hath died.
Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today.
-- Greg Scheer, 1995… Go to person page >
Thou art gone to the grave! but we will not deplore thee. Bishop R. Heber. [Death and Burial.] Was written in Decem¬ber, 1818, on the death of his daughter, aged six months. (Memoirs, volines i. p. 501.) So far as is at present known its earliest publication was in the Rev. Carus Wilson's Friendly Visitor, for August, 1824. It is also found, with variations, in stanza iii. in a volume of Sacred Poetry, Edin.: W. Oliphant, N.D. In 1827, the text, as in the Friendly Visitor, was included in Bp. Heber's posthumous Hymns, p. 150. It is rendered into Latin by R. Bingham in his Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871, as "Mortuos inter resides, et absens."
Display Title: Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore theeFirst Line: Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore theeTune Title: FUNERAL THOUGHTAuthor: Reginald HeberMeter: 12,11Date: 1991