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William Thomas (Islwyn)

His poetry stands among the best in Welsh literature, deeply tinged as it is with the unfamiliar idealizings of a mystic soul. Only three of his hymns are published. The one given below has already found a place in the hymnody of the Welsh Church, and has its record among the songs ordained of the Holy Spirit to give stay and 117 patience of hope to the righteous in the hour of sorrow and death.

See, my soul, the land of brightness

Far above the clouds of time;

Where the breeze with balmy lightness

Bloweth through a genial clime;

Joyful thousands!

Moving in its rest serene.

Life has there its crystal fountains,

Peace--whose rivers softly flow,

To refresh its vales and mountains,

To immortalize its glow;

And salvation

On the sunny shores is breathed.

Never can a mortal arrow

On its nearest province fall:

Death's dominion is but narrow--

There it cometh not at all:

Life abundant;

Immortality at home!

Every breeze of winter changes

On the shore to heavenly calm;

O'er its fields no sorrow ranges,

Every sigh becomes a psalm:

Into Jordan

Falls the last most bitter tear.


There--there is not one that mourneth,

There--there is not any sad;

There--the gall to honey turneth,

There--the bound is free and glad:

Joyful thousands!

There abiding evermore!

Now my heart is filled with blessing,

And a sacred joy is mine,

In the hope of soon possessing

That inheritance Divine:

Joyful thousands!

Drawing near that promised land!

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