I see them with their heavenward eyes.
Men who in Christ abide;
The long train ceases not to rise
Through time's unceasing tide,
And a grave across each pathway lies
But the path swerves not aside.
Like a chorus which no discords mar,
Sober and clear and grand,
Like a scroll upreaching to a star,
Caught by an angel's hand,
Like a wind beginning from afar,
And covering all the land,
They sound, they pass; each man beholds
The Master's risen face,
Each arm some near beloved enfolds,
Yet keeps its forward place,
The weak one leans, the strong upholds,
But all are in the race.
Up, through the darkness and the pain,
Up, through the joy and light,
Earth's myriad hands are raised in vain
To baffle or invite,
Life shows them nothing to detain,
Death, nothing to affright.
By all things fair their course is graced,
By all things bitter, healed;
Gathering like servants sent in haste
Who, being challenged, yield,
And through the garden on the waste,
Guide to God's happy field.
To them each human loss is gain
Withdrawn or sacrificed,
Nothing but sin was all in vain,
And that, which long enticed,
Falls from each soul and leaves no stain
At the first smile of Christ.
The flock of God goes up and on,
And if, as sin departs,
Some faces from the throng are gone
Leaving some broken hearts,
God, full of pity for his own,
Dries every tear that starts.
The flock of God is strong and swift
And it devours the way,
Longing to see the curtain lift
From the everlasting day;
How slight the toil, how vast the gift,
How weary the delay!
Lord, gather us beneath their feet
As thy good will shall be!
The service of thy saints is sweet
When they are serving thee;
Souls for inheritance unmeet
May serve eternally.