Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Words: Isaac Watts, Horæ Lyricæ, Book 1, 1706, pages 136–38.
Music: Effingham, in The Sacred Harp or Eclectic Harmony, edited by Lowell Mason & Timothy B. Mason (Cincinnati, Ohio: Truman & Smith, 1859) (🔊 pdf nwc).
When shall Thy lovely face be seen?
When shall our eyes behold our God?
What lengths of distance lie between,
And hills of guilt? A heavy load!
Our months are ages of delay,
And slowly every moment wears;
Fly, wingèd time, and roll away
These tedious rounds of sluggish years.
Ye heavenly gates, loose all your chains!
Let th’eternal pillars bow,
Blest Savior! cleave the starry plains,
And make the crystal mountains flow!
Hark, how Thy saints unite their cries,
And pray and wait the general doom;
Come Thou, the Soul of all of our joys,
Thou, the desire of nations, come!
Put Thy bright robes of triumph on,
And bless our eyes, and bless our ears,
Thou absent love, Thou dear unknown,
Thou fairest of ten thousand fairs.
Our heart-strings groan with deep complaint,
Our flesh lies panting, Lord, for Thee,
And every limb, and every joint,
Stretches for immortality.
Our spirits shake their eager wings
And burn to meet Thy flying throne;
We rise away from mortal things
T’attend Thy shining chariot down.
Now let our cheerful eyes survey
The blazing earth, the melting hills;
Nor fear to see the lightnings play,
And flash along before Thy wheels!
O for a shout of violent joys
To join the trumpet’s thundering sound!
The angel herald shakes the skies,
Awakes the graves, and tears the ground.
Ye slumbering saints, a heavenly host
Stands waiting at your gaping tombs;
Let every sacred sleeping dust
Leap into life, for Jesus comes.
Jesus, the God of mighty and love,
New molds our limbs of cumbrous clay;
Quick as seraphic flames we move,
Active and young, and fair as they.
Our airy feet with unknown flight
Swift as the motions of desire,
Run up the hills of heavenly light,
And leave the weltering world in fire.