A Martyrs Song Christina Rossetti
We meet in joy, though we part in sorrow;
We part to-night, but we meet to-morrow.
Be it flood or blood the path that’s trod,
All the same it leads home to God:
Be it furnace-fire voluminous,
One like God’s Son will walk with us.
What are these that glow from afar,
These that lean over the golden bar,
Strong as the lion, pure as the dove,
With open arms and hearts of love?
They the blessed ones gone before,
They the blessed for evermore.
Out of great tribulation they went
Home to their home of Heaven-content;
Through flood, or blood, or furnace-fire,
To the rest that fulfils desire.
What are these that fly as a cloud,
With flashing heads and faces bowed,
In their mouths a victorious psalm,
In their hands a robe and palm?
Welcoming angels these that shine,
Your own angel, and yours, and mine;
Who have hedged us, both day and night
On the left hand and the right,
Who have watched us both night and day
Because the devil keeps watch to slay.
Light above light, and Bliss beyond bliss,
Whom words cannot utter, lo, Who is This?
As a King with many crowns He stands,
And our names are graven upon His hands;
As a Priest, with God-uplifted eyes,
He offers for us His sacrifice;
As the Lamb of God for sinners slain,
That we too may live He lives again;
As our Champion behold Him stand,
Strong to save us, at God’s Right Hand.
God the Father give us grace
To walk in the light of Jesus’ Face.
God the Son give us a part
In the hiding-place of Jesus’ Heart:
God the Spirit so hold us up
That we may drink of Jesus’ cup;
Death is short and life is long;
Satan is strong, but Christ more strong.
At His Word, Who hath led us hither.
The Red Sea must part hither and thither.
As His Word, Who goes before us too,
Jordan must cleave to let us through.
Yet one pang searching and sore,
And then Heaven for evermore;
Yet one moment awful and dark,
Then safety within the Veil and the Ark;
Yet one effort by Christ His grace,
Then Christ for ever face to face.
God the Father we will adore,
In Jesus’ Name, now and evermore:
God the Son we will love and thank
In this flood and on the further bank:
God the Holy Ghost we will praise
In Jesus’ Name, through endless days:
God Almighty, God Three in One,
God Almighty, God alone.
Painting: St John Ogilvie, 2011, Peter Howson