Thompson, Priscilla Jane
|GLEANINGS OF QUIET HOURS.|
|WHILE THE CHOIR SANG.|
THE THREAT'NING clouds of yesternight,
Have sought the western rim;
The peaceful Easter sun, beams forth
"Glad tidings to all men."
The festooned church is filling fast;
The frivolous, the gay,
The saint, the sinner, mingle free,
On this triumphant day.
Around the altar decked with flowers,
Each old saint takes his seat;
The organ swells, the choir breaks forth,
In cadence full and sweet.
But there, amongst the aged saint,
About the altar rail,
A vacant seat, an absent face,
Bespeaks the same sad tale.
Within a humble, upper room,
Across the street, near by,
All weak and worn, and racked with pain,
A faithful soldier lies.
He's felt the galling slav'ry's yoke,
In days now long since, fled;
He's groaned in destitution, sore,
And felt the need of bread.
But through, it all, with child-like faith,
He's looked up to his God;
And though the billows loudly roared,
He came across, dry-shod.
And now, the crucial test is come,
For Jordan's bank is near;
He's trusted God at smaller streams,
Canst he not trust Him here?
The choir bursts forth in classic strains,
The notes unto him ring;
Though he's not trained in classic lore,
He knows they praise his King.
His soul hath caught the holy spell;
Who could doubt such a king?
His fav'rite hymn is on his lips;
He launches, as he sings:--
"Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus;
Steal away, steal away home,
I aint got long to stay here."
He feels his old wife's ling'ring clasp,
He faintly hears her moan,
For Jordan's waves break on his ear,
And drifts him, toward his home.
The choir, in rich crescendo strains,
In final triumph, chord;
They little dreamed, 'twere theirs to launch,
An old saint to his Lord.