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THE HOLY MOUNT

Valdimar Briem (1848-1930)

11.6.11.6 D

What though this weary earth-born flesh lie fettered

In prison-house of night?

The spirit rises heavenward, upward ranging

Toward the realms of light:

Up to the ray-crowned peak her Lord she follows,

With sin-purged eyes to scan

From that clear height the fair far-spreading vistas

Of God's redeeming plan.

Yea, though the flesh, far-sundered from the dawning,

Mid shades of death here lie,

The soul upon the mount of faith ascending

In prayer to heaven draws nigh.

So high that hill that in the darkling distance

Earth's troubles fade away;

Close, close at hand the high things and the holy

Stand forth in fair array.

Far, far below, down in the earth-girt valley,

Night broods upon the clod.

Look up! along the mountain crest is breaking

The glad sunrise of God.

43

There hidden things are plain; there, vision-gifted,

The eye may pierce the gloom

Which curtains time and space, yea, rend the blackness

That shrouds the unanswering tomb.

On earth insistent sing the siren voices

Which lure to carnal ease:

There reigns the silence of a dream, the stillness

Of the eternal peace.

Time's voices fade; in awe I hear the beating

Of God's great heart of love;

While on my breast the dews of healing quiet

Steal softly from above.

So on the mountain summit, domed in glory,

My pilgrim tent I'll raise:

'Tis good for me, thus close to God abiding,

To dwell through endless days;

To catch some beams of that divine effulgence

There from Christ's face outpoured,

Until my face transfigured glow reflecting

The glory of the Lord.

Then, when death comes, a cloud of mystic brightness

O'ershadowing shall draw near:

Within its folds soft calling, "My beloved,"

The Saviour's voice I'll hear.

44

Yea, though death's chill mist shroud life's flowery valley,

It hath no power to affright:

I raise mine eyes, and near me Jesus only

Stands in immortal light.

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