Were there no night we could not read the stars,
The heavens would turn into a blinding glare;
Freedom is best seen through the prison bars,
And rough seas make the haven passing fair.
We cannot measure joys but by their loss;
When blessings fade away, we see them then;
Our richest clusters grow around the cross,
And in the night-time angels sing to men.
The seed must first lie buried deep in earth,
Before the lily opens to the sky;
So "light is sown," and gladness has its birth
In the dark deeps where we can only cry.
"Life out of death" is heaven's unwritten law;
Nay, it is written in a myriad forms;
The victor's palm grows on the fields of war,
And strength and beauty are the fruit of storms.
Come then, my soul, be brave to do and bear;
Thy life is bruised that it may be more sweet;
The cross will soon be left, the crown we'll wear —
Nay, we will cast it at our Saviour's feet.
And up among the glories never told,
Sweeter than music of the marriage bell,
Our hands will strike the vibrant harp of gold
To the glad song, "He doeth all things well."