Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Psalms and Hymns for the Church (1883).
VIII. “‘He loved his own unto the end’”
By William Josiah Irons (1812–1883)
 
“HE loved His own unto the end,”
        And asked their love;
He said, “I call you each My friend,
And not My servant; and I send
        One from above,        5
Who shall reveal such grace and truth to you
As in My sojourn here ye never knew.”
 
“But why depart?” they cry, “why will
        To leave us here?
Thou sayest that Thou dost love us still:        10
Can it be love if thus Thou fill
        Our cup of fear?
O Master, Master, should’st Thou now depart
All sorrow needs must overwhelm our heart.
 
Yet it is love: He said, “I go;        15
        For could I stay,
Your earth-bound thoughts would never know
Love’s fullest mysteries, which flow
        From Me alway;
My human heart might linger with you yet,        20
But now affections must on heaven be set.
 
“You could not know Me more, unless
        My Spirit came
And taught the ways of righteousness,
How sin and judgment to confess,        25
        How learn to blame
All clinging to inferior things of earth,
Blind to the glory of your heavenly birth.
 
“My peace I leave with you, but not
        As this world gives;        30
My Spirit comes to you, yet what
He teaches shows no earthly lot:
        He ever lives,
The world must learn. I hear the Father’s call
Away from earth!—Awhile I leave you all.        35
 
“Arise! let us go hence.” He rose,
        And, as He spake,
Calmly He moved, as one who knows
The coming onset of his foes.
        The night winds shake        40
With distant sounds, as through the olive grove
“Let us depart” is echoed from above.
 
 
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