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It is an old funeral custom in country districts of the Principality to sing on the road from the house to the churchyard. The funerals are mostly public, and there is generally a large concourse of people. The procession moves slowly on, singing here and there, as it moves, some measured, mournful melody, with a wondrously touching effect. If any one has ever heard this music of the dead coming with muffled far-off tones from some narrow, lonely glen, he will never forget it. It is a minor melody that is sung, whether the words be of sorrow or of hope. Among the verses I have often heard on these occasions is this, by #Thomas Williams:

Oh! what distances eternal

Are to-day before my face;

Never staying, never resting,

I must journey to my place:

Though so narrow,

I must through the gateway pass.


And this other, by Williams, Pantycelyn:

When human help is at an end,

God's pity shall not languish;

He will be Father, Brother, Friend,

In death's relentless anguish.

But no verse has so hallowed the presence of death as the following, the author of which seems to be unknown:

There shall be thousand wonders,

At break of day, to see

The children of the tempests

From tribulation free;

All in their snow-white garments,

In new and perfect guise,

Upon their Saviour's likeness,

Out of the grave they rise.

This verse having been of late rather prominently brought before the English public, through its being sung at the London National Eisteddvod and beside the grave of the late Henry Richard, M.P., several attempts have been made to translate it. Below is a rendering by Mr. Josiah D. Evans (Ap Daniel), New York:

Ten thousand glorious wonders

Shall greet the morning ray;

When earth's storm-beaten children

Shall wake to endless day;

All clad in robes of whiteness,

And crowned with fadeless bloom;

In their Redeemer's likeness,

Ascending from the tomb!


Sung to a tune of its own, the impressiveness of the verse in the original is most profound. Every separate line--almost every word--seems to have a history. However neatly translated, this history is always wanting in the new language. Hence the translator's despair.

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