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

By Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862). VI. “O happy band of pilgrims”

John Mason Neale (1818–1866)

(From “S. Joseph of the Studium”)

O HAPPY band of pilgrims,

If onward ye will tread

With Jesus as your Fellow

To Jesus as your Head!

O happy, if ye labour

As Jesus did for men:

O happy, if ye hunger

As Jesus hunger’d then!

The Cross that Jesus carried

He carried as your due:

The crown that Jesus weareth

He weareth it for you.

The Faith by which ye see Him,

The Hope, in which ye yearn,

The Love that through all troubles

To Him alone will turn,—

What are they, but vaunt-couriers

To lead you to His Sight?

What are they, save the effluence

Of Uncreated Light?

The trials that beset you,

The sorrows ye endure,

The manifold temptations

That Death alone can cure,—

What are they, but His jewels

Of right celestial worth?

What are they but the ladder,

Set up to Heav’n on earth?

O happy band of pilgrims,

Look upward to the skies;—

Where such a light affliction

Shall win you such a prize!