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Pilgrim Song

Gerhard Ter Steegen

Deut. xxxi. 8

On, O beloved children,

The evening is at hand,

And desolate and fearful

The solitary land.

Take heart! the rest eternal

Awaits our weary feet;

From strength to strength press onwards,

The end, how passing sweet!

Lo, we can tread rejoicing

The narrow pilgrim road;

We know the voice that calls us,

We know our faithful God.

Come, children, on to glory!

With every face set fast

Towards the golden towers

Where we shall rest at last.

It was with voice of singing

We left the land of night,

To pass in glorious music

Far onward out of sight.

O children, was it sorrow?

Though thousand worlds be lost,

Our eyes have looked on Jesus,

And thus we count the cost.

The praising and the blaming,

The storehouse and the mart,

The mourning and the feasting,

The glory and the art,

The wisdom and the cunning,

Left far amid the gloom;

We may not look behind us,

For we are going home.

Across the will of nature

Leads on the path of God;

Not where the flesh delighteth

The feet of Jesus trod.

O bliss to leave behind us

The fetters of the slave,

To leave ourselves behind us,

The grave-clothes and the grave!

To speed, unburdened pilgrims,

Glad, empty-handed, free;

To cross the trackless deserts,

And walk upon the sea;

As strangers among strangers,

No home beneath the sun;

How soon the wanderings ended,

The endless rest begun!

We pass the children playing,

For evening shades fall fast;

We pass the wayside flowers—

God's Paradise at last!

If now the path be narrow

And steep and rough and lone,

If crags and tangles cross it,

Praise God! we will go on.

We follow in His footsteps;

What if our feet be torn?

Where He has marked the pathway

All hail the briar and thorn!

Scarce seen, scarce heard, unreckoned,

Despised, defamed, unknown,

Or heard but by our singing,

On, children! ever on!

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