Descend, O sinner, to the woe!
Thy day of hope is done;
Light shall revisit thee no more,
Life with its sanguine dreams is o’er,
Love reaches not yon awful shore;
For ever sets thy sun!
Pass down to the eternal dark;
Yet not for rest nor sleep;
Thine is the everlasting tomb,
Thine the inexorable doom,
The moonless, mornless, sunless gloom,
Where souls for ever weep.
Depart, lost soul, thy tears to weep,
Thy never drying tears;
To sigh the never ending sigh,
To send up the unheeded cry,
Into the unresponding sky,
Whose silence mocks thy fears.
Call upon God; He hears no more;
Call upon death; ’tis dead;
Ask the live lightnings in their flight,
Seek for some sword of hell and night,
The worm that never dies to smite;
No weapon strikes its head.
Thou livest, and must ever live;
But life is now thy foe;
Thine is the sorrow shriveled brow,
Thine the eternal heartache now,
’Neath the long burden thou must bow,
The living death of woe.
Thy songs are at an end; thy harp
Shall solace thee no more;
All mirth has perished on thy grave,
The melody that could not save
Has died upon death’s sullen wave
That flung thee on this shore.
Earth, with its waves, and woods, and winds,
Its stars, and suns, and streams,
Its joyous air and gentle skies,
Filled with all happy melodies,
Has passed, or, with dark memories,
Comes back in torturing dreams.
Never again shalt thou behold,
As when a bounding boy,
The fresh buds of the fragrant spring,
Its song birds on their April wing,
And all its vales a-blossoming;
Or summer’s rosy joy.
No river of forgetfulness,
As poets dreamed and sung,
Rolls yonder to efface the past,
To quench the sense of what thou wast,
To soothe or end thy pain at last,
Or cool thy burning tongue.
No God is there; no Christ; for He,
Whose word on earth was
Depart: go, lost one, go,
Reap the sad harvest thou didst sow,
Join yon lost angels in their woe,
Their prison is thy home.
Descend, O sinner, to the gloom!
Hear the deep judgment-knell
Send forth its terror-shrieking sound
These walls of adamant around,
And filling to its utmost bound
Thy woeful, woeful hell.
Depart, O sinner, to the chain!
Enter the eternal cell;
To all that’s good, and true, and right,
To all that’s fond, and fair, and bright,
To all of holiness and light,
Bid thou thy last farewell!