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

By II. “He is gone—beyond the skies”

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 angel’s flight;

Through the veils of Time and Space,

Pass’d 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 Gennesareth’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:

No, His Spirit still is ours,

Quickening, freshening all our powers.

He is gone—towards their goal,

World and Church must onwards roll:

Far behind we leave the past;

Forwards 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 will He 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.