Horatius Bonar Poems – How Long? – On the Threshold – Heaven at Last

Listen to the reading of a short (5 min) sermon – Man acting as a devil, by Horatius Bonar here.

Horatius Bonar 1808–1889 Scotland

photo courtesy www.newhopemusic.com

poems via www.spurgeongems.org/ipoems.htm

How long ?

My God, it is not fretfulness
That makes me say „How long?”
It is not heaviness of heart
That hinders me in song,
‘Tis not despair of truth and right,
Nor coward dread of wrong.

But how can I, with such a hope
Of glory and of home;
With such a joy before my eyes,
Not wish the time were come
Of years the jubilee, of days
The Sabbath and the sum?

These years, what ages they have been!
This life, how long it seems!
And how can I in evil days,
‘Mid unknown hills and streams
But sigh for those of home and heart
And visit them in dreams?

Yet peace, my heart and hush my tongue;
Be calm, my troubled breast;
Each restless hour is hastening on
The everlasting rest.
Thou knowest that the time thy God
Appoints for thee is best.

Let faith, not fear nor fretfulness,
Awake the cry, „How long?”
Let now faintheartedness of soul
Damp thy aspiring song,
Right comes, truth dawns, the night departs
Of error and of wrong.

                          —Horatius Bonar

photo courtesy Wikimedia  David Tutwiler – Homeward Bound

On the Threshold

I’m returning, not departing;
My steps are homeward bound,
I quit the land of strangers
For a home on native ground.

I am rising and not setting;
This is not night but day,
Not in darkness, but in sunshine,
Like a star, I fade away.

All is well with me for ever;
I do not fear to go,
My tide is but beginning
Its bright eternal flow.

I am leaving only shadows
For the true and fair and good,
I must not, cannot, linger;
I would not, though I could.

This is not death’s dark portal,
‘Tis life’s golden gate to me,
Link after link is broken,
And I at last am free.

I am going to the angels,
I am going to my God;
I know the hand that beckons,
I see the holy road.

Why grieve me with your weeping?
Your tears are all in vain,
An hour’s farewell, beloved,
And we shall meet again.

Jesus, Thou wilt receive me
And welcome me above;
This sunshine which now fills me
Is Thine own smile of love.

         —Horatius Bonar

Heaven at Last

Angel voices sweetly singing,
Echoes through the blue dome ringing,
News of wondrous gladness bringing…
 Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

Now beneath us all the grieving,
All the wounded spirit’s heaving,
All the woe of hopes deceiving…
Ah ‘tis heaven at last!

Sin for ever left behind us,
Earthly visions cease to blind us,
Fleshly fetters cease to bind us…
Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

On the jasper threshold standing,
Like a pilgrim safely landing
See, the strange bright scene expanding…
Ah ‘tis heaven at last!

What a city! what a glory!
Far beyond the brightest story
Of the ages old and hoary…
Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

Softest voices silver pealing,
Freshest fragrances spirit-healing,
Happy hymns around us stealing…
Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

Gone the vanity and folly,
Gone the dark and melancholy,
Come the joyous and the holy…
Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

Not a broken blossom yonder,
Not a link can snap asunder,
Stay’d the tempest, sheathed the thunder…
Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

Not a tear-drop ever falleth,
Not a pleasure ever palleth,
Song to song for ever calleth…
Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

Christ Himself the living splendour,
Christ the sunlight mild and tender;
Praises to the Lamb we render…
Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

Now at length the veil is rended,
Now the pilgrimage is ended,
And the saints their thrones ascended…
Ah, ‘tis heaven at last!

Broken death’s dread bands that bound us,
Life and victory around us,
Christ the King Himself hath crowned us…
Ah,’tis heaven at last!

                         —Horatius Bonar


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