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

St. John in Patmos

Elizabeth Surr

THE BLUE Egean’s countless waves in sabbath sunlight smiled,

And murmuring washed the rocky shore of that lone island wild;

Where unto him whom Jesus loved, “such views sublime were given,

That e’en the land of exile shone the very gate of heaven!”

He saw the radiant form of Him, upon whose sorrowing breast,

At the last supper’s solemn feast his weary head found rest;

One “like unto the Son of Man,” all glorious to behold,

Arrayed in robes of dazzling light, and girt with purest gold.

His head and hair were white as wool; His eyes a fiery flame,

Not tearful now as when He trod this world of sin and shame;

His countenance was as the sun, His voice was as the sound

Of many waters murmuring deep in harmony profound.

But when before His feet as dead, the loved disciple fell,

How gently deigned the Prince of life His servant’s fears to quell!

And gave him strength to see His face, whom highest heavens adore,

The Lord, who “liveth and was dead,” and lives for evermore!

Oh! then upon his raptured gaze what floods of glory streamed;

He saw the land of love and light—the home of the redeemed;

He stood by life’s resplendent stream, whose tide in music rolled

Throughout the holy city’s length among its streets of gold.

He heard the mighty new-made song, to angel-hosts unknown,

Go up like incense unto Him that sat upon the throne;

And the pure strains by seraphs sung in that celestial sphere,

In sweetest cadence rose and fell upon his listening ear.

Within the flashing walls of heaven, with jewelled splendor bright,

He saw the countless multitudes, arrayed in saintly white;

He marked them with their waving palms, in worship bending low,

Before the feet of Him who smil’d beneath the emerald bow.

The pearly gates, the crystal sea, the universal hymn,

The sun-bright forms, the brilliant eyes, which tears may never dim,

The healing trees, the fadeless flowers, the harpings of the blest,

In splendid vision to his soul revealed the promised rest.

Long since that aged saint hath reached the fair celestial shore;

And gained the martyr’s crown, for he the martyr’s suffering bore;

Long since his happy feet have stood within his Father’s home;

Yet still the mighty voice he heard, with ceaseless cry saith “Come”!

And life’s bright fountain springeth yet, as free, and fresh, and fair,

As when in Patmos’ dreary isle it cheered the exile there!

And hark! the Spirit and the Bride repeat, in mercy still,

That he who is athirst may drink—yea whosoever will!

O blessed voices! be it ours your loving call to hear,

And so obey that when, at last, from yonder radiant sphere

The heavenly bridegroom shall descend, to claim His own again,

We may lift up our hearts and say, “Lord, even so, Amen!”