John Bowring

(1792-1872 / England)

Winter: Saturday Morning - Poem by John Bowring

Another portion of life rolls on,
The week glides calmly by;
And down the swift stream of time we run,
To the sea of eternity.
Who knows how soon the hour will come
When the sun shall put out his light,
And the Master shall call His labourers home,
To sleep in the valleys of night?

And then shall He take a strict account
Of duties neglected and done,
And millions shall read their vast amount
Recorded one by one.
And every bosom shall be unveil'd,
And every secret known;
And none another's sins shall shield,
And none shall hide his own!

We live in this narrow world below,
The victims of self-deceit;
But in the bright world to which we go,
No artifice can cheat.
Folly can there no more assume
Wisdom's imposing dress;
Nor hypocrisy wear the towering plume
Of conscious righteousness.

Each his burden of sin must bear,
At the high tribunal above,
For nothing will then avail us there
But deeds of mercy and love;
To have train'd our spirits to forgive,
As we hope to be forgiven,
And have lived on earth as they should live,
Whose hopes and home are heaven.

We are weak and vain, but God is strong;
We are blind, but His piercing eye,
To whose orbit all space and time belong,
Embraces infinity.
We wander-His spirit leads us back
To the heavenward path of peace,
And His glory lights the holy track
That ends in eternal bliss.

He smiles on all-and tho' drear and dark
Our journey may seem to be-
A joyous, a bright, tho' lonely spark,
Shines from eternity.
As beneath the curtains of silver snow
The flowers of the valley are hid,
So the flowers of hope and beauty grow
'Neath the grave's pyramid.

Even in the shadiest, darkest night
The stars shine on unseen;
And the sun is clad in his robes of light,
Tho' mists intrude between.
And the grave, tho' dreary and dull and deep,
Is bright with a heaven-born ray,
And its long and seemingly listless sleep
Shall be crown'd with eternal day.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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