O land beyond the setting sun!|
O realm more fair than poet's dream!
How clear thy silvery streamlets run,
How bright thy golden glories gleam!
Earth holds no counterpart of thine.
The dark-browed Orient, jewel-crowned,
Pales as she bows before thy shrine.
Shrouded in mystery so profound.
The dazzling North, the stately West,
Whose rivers flow from mount to sea;
The South, flower-wreathed in languid rest,
What are they all compared with thee?
All lands, all realms beneath yon dome,
Where God's own hand hath hung the stars,
To thee with humblest homage come,
O world beyond the crystal bars!
Thou blest Hereafter! Mortal tongue
Hath striven in vain thy speech to learn,
And Fancy wanders, lost among
The flowery paths for which we yearn.
But well we know that fair and bright,
Far beyond human ken or dream,
Too glorious for our feeble sight,
Thy skies of cloudless azure beam.
We know thy happy valleys lie
In green repose, supremely blest;
We know against thy sapphire sky
Thy mountain peaks sublimely rest.
And sometimes even now we catch
Faint gleamings from thy far-off shore,
And still with eager eyes we watch
For one sweet sign or token more.
For oh, the deeply loved are there!
The brave, the fair, the good, the wise,
Who pined for thy serener air,
Nor shunned thy solemn mysteries.
There are the hopes that, one by one,
Died even as we gave them birth;
The dreams that passed ere well begun,
Too dear, too beautiful for earth.
The aspirations, strong of wing,
Aiming at heights we could not reach;
The songs we tried in vain to sing;
The thoughts too vast for human speach;
Thou hast them all, Hereafter! Thou
Shalt keep them safely till that hour
When, with god's seal on heart and brow,
We claim them in immortal power!