What though this weary earth-born flesh lie fettered
In prison-house of night?
The spirit rises heavenward, upward ranging
Toward the realms of light:
Up to the ray-crowned peak her Lord she follows,
With sin-purged eyes to scan
From that clear height the fair far-spreading vistas
Of God's redeeming plan.
Yea, though the flesh, far-sundered from the dawning,
Mid shades of death here lie,
The soul upon the mount of faith ascending
In prayer to heaven draws nigh.
So high that hill that in the darkling distance
Earth's troubles fade away;
Close, close at hand the high things and the holy
Stand forth in fair array.
Far, far below, down in the earth-girt valley,
Night broods upon the clod.
Look up! along the mountain crest is breaking
The glad sunrise of God.
There hidden things are plain; there, vision-gifted,
The eye may pierce the gloom
Which curtains time and space, yea, rend the blackness
That shrouds the unanswering tomb.
On earth insistent sing the siren voices
Which lure to carnal ease:
There reigns the silence of a dream, the stillness
Of the eternal peace.
Time's voices fade; in awe I hear the beating
Of God's great heart of love;
While on my breast the dews of healing quiet
Steal softly from above.
So on the mountain summit, domed in glory,
My pilgrim tent I'll raise:
'Tis good for me, thus close to God abiding,
To dwell through endless days;
To catch some beams of that divine effulgence
There from Christ's face outpoured,
Until my face transfigured glow reflecting
The glory of the Lord.
Then, when death comes, a cloud of mystic brightness
O'ershadowing shall draw near:
Within its folds soft calling, "My beloved,"
The Saviour's voice I'll hear.
Yea, though death's chill mist shroud life's flowery valley,
It hath no power to affright:
I raise mine eyes, and near me Jesus only
Stands in immortal light.
Pilcher, Charles Venn. (Oxford, June 4, 1879--July 4, 1961, Sydney, Australia). Anglican. Grandnephew of Charlotte Elliott. Hertford College, Oxford, B.A., 1902; M.A., 1905; B.D., 1909; D.D., 1921. Curacies at Birmingham, 1903-1905; St. James, Toronto, 1910-1916; taught theology at Auckland Castle, England, 1905-1906, and at Wycliffe College, Toronto, 1916-1936. Elected coadjutor bishop of Sydney, Australia, at the instance of a former Wycliffe colleague, Archbishop Mowll. He composed hymn tunes and other music, and long played bass clarinet in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Also, he translated and published much devotional material from Iceland, notably Iceland Christian Classics (1950). These side interests, like his hymn writing, merely… Go to person page >