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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

At Vespers

By Samuel Willoughby Duffield (1843–1887)

O WHAT shall be, O when shall be, that holy Sabbath day,

Which heavenly care shall ever keep and celebrate alway,

When rest is found for weary limbs, when labor hath reward,

When everything, forevermore, is joyful in the Lord?

The true Jerusalem above, the holy town, is there,

Whose duties are so full of joy, whose joy so free from care;

Where disappointment cometh not to check the longing heart,

And where the heart, in ecstasy, hath gained her better part.

O glorious King, O happy state, O palace of the blest!

O sacred place and holy joy, and perfect, heavenly rest!

To thee aspire thy citizens in glory’s bright array,

And what they feel and what they know they strive in vain to say.

For while we wait and long for home, it shall be ours to raise

Our songs and chants and vows and prayers in that dear country’s praise;

And from these Babylonian streams to lift our weary eyes,

And view the city that we love descending from the skies.

There, there, secure from every ill, in freedom we shall sing

The songs of Zion, hindered here by days of suffering,

And unto Thee, our gracious Lord, our praises shall confess

That all our sorrow hath been good, and Thou by pain canst bless.

There Sabbath day to Sabbath day sheds on a ceaseless light,

Eternal pleasure of the saints who keep that Sabbath bright;

Nor shall the chant ineffable decline, nor ever cease,

Which we with all the angels sing in that sweet realm of peace.