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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By I. Hymn on the Transfiguration (“Master, it is good to be”)

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815–1881)

“MASTER, it is good to be

High on the mountain here with Thee:”

Here, in an ampler, purer air,

Above the stir of toil and care,

Of hearts distraught with doubt and grief,

Believing in their unbelief,

Calling Thy servants, all in vain,

To ease them of their bitter pain.

“Master, it is good to be

Where rest the souls that talk with Thee:”

Where stand revealed to mortal gaze

The great old saints of other days;

Who once received on Horeb’s height,

The eternal laws of truth and right;

Or caught the still small whisper, higher

Than storm, than earthquake, or than fire.

“Master, it is good to be

With Thee, and with Thy faithful Three:”

Here, where the Apostle’s heart of rock

Is nerved against temptation’s shock;

Here, where the Son of Thunder learns

“The thought that breathes, the word that burns;”

Here, where on eagle’s wings we move

With Him Whose last, best creed is Love.

“Master, it is good to be

Entranced, enwrapt, alone with Thee;”

Watching the glistening raiment glow

Whiter than Hermon’s whitest snow,

The human lineaments that shine

Irradiant with a light Divine;

Still we, too, change from grace to grace,

Gazing on that transfigured Face.

“Master, it is good to be

In life’s worst anguish close to Thee:”

Within the overshadowing cloud

Which wraps us in its awful shroud,

We wist not what to think or say,

Our spirits sink in sore dismay;

They tell us of the dread “Decease”:

But yet to linger here is peace.

“Master, it is good to be

Here on the Holy Mount with Thee;”

When darkling in the depths of night,

When dazzled with excess of light,

We bow before the heavenly Voice

That bids bewildered souls rejoice:

Though love wax cold, and faith be dim,

“This is My Son; O hear ye Him!”