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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

There is a Land Immortal

By Thomas MacKellar (1812–1899)

[Born in New York, N. Y., 1812.]

THERE is a land immortal,

The beautiful of lands;

Beside its ancient portal

A sentry grimly stands.

He only can undo it,

And open wide the door;

And mortals who pass through it

Are mortal nevermore.

That glorious land is Heaven,

And Death the sentry grim:

The Lord thereof has given

The opening keys to him;

And ransomed spirits, sighing

And sorrowful for sin,

Pass through the gate in dying,

And freely enter in.

Though dark and drear the passage

That leadeth to the gate,

Yet grace attends the message

To souls that watch and wait;

And at the time appointed

A messenger comes down,

And guides the Lord’s anointed

From cross to glory’s crown.

Their sighs are lost in singing;

They’re blessèd in their tears;

Their journey heavenward winging,

They leave on earth their fears.

Death like an angel seeming,

“We welcome thee!” they cry:

Their eyes with glory gleaming,

’Tis life for them to die.

Hymns and Metrical Psalms. 1883.