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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By F. B. P.

Urbs Beata Hierusalem

HIERUSALEM, 1 my happy home,
  When shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end?
  Thy joys when shall I see?
O happy harbour of the saints,        5
  O sweet and pleasant soil,
In thee no sorrow may be found,
  No grief, no care, no toil!
No dampish mist is seen in thee,
  No cold nor darksome night;        10
There every soul shines as the sun;
  There God Himself gives light.
There lust and lucre cannot dwell,
  There envy bears no sway;
There is no hunger, heat, nor cold,        15
  But pleasure every way.
Hierusalem! Hierusalem!
  God grant I once 2 may see
Thy endless joys, and of the same
  Partaker aye to be.        20
Thy walls are made of precious stones,
  Thy bulwarks diamonds square,
Thy gates are of right orient pearl,
  Exceeding rich and rare.
Thy turrets and thy pinnacles        25
  With carbuncles do shine,
Thy very streets are paved with gold
  Surpassing clear and fine.
Thy houses are of ivory,
  Thy windows crystal clear,        30
Thy tiles are made of beaten gold,—
  O God, that I were there!
Ah, my sweet home, Hierusalem,
  Would God I were in thee!
Would God my woes were at an end,        35
  Thy joys that I might see!

We that are here in banishment
  Continually do moan,
We sigh and sob, we weep and wail,
  Perpetually we groan.        40
Our sweet is mixed with bitter gall,
  Our pleasure is but pain;
Our joys scarce last the looking on,
  Our sorrows still remain.
But there they live in such delight,        45
  Such pleasure and such play,
As that to them a thousand years
  Doth seem as yesterday.

Thy gardens and thy gallant walks
  Continually are green;        50
There grow such sweet and pleasant flowers
  As nowhere else are seen.
Quite through the streets with silver sound
  The flood of life doth flow,
Upon whose banks on every side        55
  The wood of life doth grow.
There trees for evermore bear fruit,
  And evermore do spring;
There evermore the angels sit,
  And evermore do sing.        60
There David stands, with harp in hands
  As master of the choir,
Ten thousand times that man were blest
  That might this music hear.
Our Lady sings Magnificat        65
  With tones surpassing sweet,
And all the virgins bear their part,
  Sitting about her feet.
There Magdalene hath left her moan,
  And cheerfully doth sing        70
With blessed saints, whose harmony
  In every street doth ring.
Hierusalem, my happy home,
  Would God I were in thee!
Would God my woes were at an end,        75
  Thy joys that I might see!    Amen.
Note 1. This popular poem, founded on Damian’s “Ad perennis vitae fontem,” was first printed at the end of an anonymous poem, “The Song of Mary the Mother of Christ,” 1601, and there initialed F. B. P. The text here followed is that of Mr W. T. Brooke, of the British Museum (from a MS. there), who added an interesting selection of inedited poems to an edition of G. Fletcher’s “Christ’s Victory and Triumph” (Griffith & Farran). I have omitted six verses and grouped the remainder in sections. [back]
Note 2. At last. [back]