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CCXCVIII

Thou inevitable Day,

When a voice to me shall say,

'Thou must rise and come away;

'All thine other journeys past,

Gird thee, and make ready fast

For thy longest and thy last':--

Day deep-hidden from our sight

In impenetrable night,

Who may guess of thee aright?

Art thou distant, art thou near?

Wilt thou seem more dark or clear?

Day with more of hope or fear?

Wilt thou come, unseen before

Thou art standing at the door,

Saying, light and life are o'er?

Or with such a gradual pace,

As shall leave me largest space

To regard thee face to face?

239

Shall I lay my drooping head

On some loved lap,--round my bed

Prayer be made and tears be shed?

Or at distance from mine own,

Name and kin alike unknown,

Make my solitary moan?

Will there yet be things to leave,

Hearts to which this heart must cleave,

From which parting it must grieve?

Or shall life's best ties be o'er,

And all loved ones gone before

To that other happier shore?

Shall I gently fall on sleep,

Death, like slumber, o'er me creep,

Like a slumber sweet and deep?

Or the soul long strive in vain,

To escape, with toil and pain,

From its half-divided chain?

Little skills it where or how,

If thou comest then or now,

With a smooth or angry brow;

Come thou must, and we must die--

JESUS! Saviour! stand Thou by,

When that last sleep seals our eye!

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