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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

Hymn of the Ascension

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815–1881)

HE is gone—beyond the skies,

A cloud receives Him from our eyes;

Gone beyond the highest height

Of mortal gaze or angels’ flight;

Through the veils of Time and Space,

Passed into the Holiest place;

All the toil, the sorrow done,

All the battle fought and won.

He is gone—and we return

And our hearts within us burn;

Olivet no more shall greet

With welcome shout His coming feet;

Never shall we track Him more,

On Genesaret’s glistening shore;

Never in that look or voice

Shall Zion’s hill again rejoice.

He is gone—and we remain

In this world of sin and pain;

In the void which He has left,

On this earth of Him bereft,

We have still His work to do,

We can still His path pursue;

Seek Him both in friend and foe,

In ourselves His image show.

He is gone—we heard Him say,

“Good that I should go away.”

Gone is that dear Form and Face,

But not gone His present grace;

Though Himself no more we see,

Comfortless we cannot be—

For His Spirit still is ours,

Quickening, freshening, all our powers.

He is gone—toward their goal,

World and Church must onward roll!

Far behind we leave the past;

Forward are our glances cast:

Still His words before us range

Through the ages as they change:

Wheresoe’er the Truth shall lead,

He will give whate’er we need.

He is gone—but we once more

Shall behold Him as before;

In the Heaven of Heavens the same,

As on earth He went and came.

In the many mansions there,

Place for us He will prepare:

In that world unseen, unknown,

He and we may yet be one.

He is gone—but not in vain,

Wait until He comes again;

He is risen, He is not here,

Far above this earthly sphere;

Evermore in heart and mind,

Where our peace in Him we find,

To our own Eternal Friend

Thitherward let us ascend.