Oh, do not keep me—let me go!
Before my vision lies
A scene so fair, so beautiful;
Oh, sons and daughters dutiful,
Could you but see with undimmed eyes
You would restrain those bitter sighs.
The gates of opal stand ajar
And forms of light appear,
Their spotless robes I see, I see:
They beckon me, they beckon me!
And rapturous strains burst on my ear,
Do you not hear them, children dear?
Can this be death’s long dreaded hour?
Is this that shadowy vale
That timid souls so fear to tread
That I have viewed with pain and dread?
If so, oh peaceful hour, I hail
Thy swift approach, nor will I quail.
When surging billows drown the
sounds of earth,
I shall not breast those waves
But tenderly I shall be borne
By One who holds my dying breath,
Safe through the chill flood-tide
I see the lights upon the shore—
Oh, joy to furl my time-worn sails
Upon the sea of glass! The gales
Of Heaven are gently wafting me
Nearer my God, “Nearer to Thee!”