Lily of the Nile

Queenly lily, fair and fragrant,
I have watched thy charms unroll
'Till thy gold embossed scepter
Gleams against thy spotless scroll.
Stately Ethiopian princess
From thy realm a fair exile
Vieing with the rose in sweetness.
Queenly lily of the Nile.

Lovely in thy child-like beauty,
Yet majestic in thy pride;
Could'st thou be more sweetly gracious
Nodding by the river side?
Breath like zephyrs freshly laden
From some flower-wreathed ocean isle;
Snow-white Ethiopian maiden,
Modest lily of the Nile.

Dost thou feel no pang of longing,
Dost thou breathe no weary sigh
For thy native, Orient splendor-
For thy native, sunlit sky?
Far away, thou knowest not whither,
Many, many a weary mile,
Thy fair sisters bloom and wither,
Stately lily of the Nile.

Bloom beneath the palm-tree's shadow
Just along the river's brink,
Where gay birds, with brilliant plumage
Soar to sing, and stoop to drink.
Plucked by Egypt's dark-eyed daughters
To adorn some granite pile-
Fresher from their native waters,
Snowy lily of the Nile.

'Midst those scenes of Eastern splendor
Thy ancestral race began-
Where the night of heathen darkness
Spread abroad its withering ban;
Yet no spot of man's transgressing
Could thy purity defile,
Looking heavenward for each blessing,
Saintly lily of the Nile.

Did they view thy purer glory
With their darkened minds unawed?
Did they learn of thee no lesson
Of the power and love of God?
Like a spotless, white-winged angel
Sent to them untouched by guile,
Did they spurn thy glad evangel,
Spotless lily of the Nile?

O, could they have looked from Nature
Unto Nature's God alone,
Would they not have scorned to worship
Images of wood and stone?
Would they not, thy beauty seeing,
Have looked up in faith erewhile
To the God who gave thee being
Matchless lily of the Nile?

O, Can I Be Happy In Heaven?

O, can I be happy in Heaven,
Though free from earth's trouble and care;
Though glories undreamed of be given,
If one whom I love is not there?
Could I walk the bright streets in my gladness,
Secure from all darkness and doubt;
And feel not a shadow of sadness
For one lost in midnight without?

O, could I be happy in Heaven?
Could the joys of that beautiful place,
Soothe to calmness my soul, anguish-riven
O'er the memory of one absent face?
And to know that forever and ever,
My pleadings and prayers are too late;
That to find them and save them I never
May pass through the beautiful gate!

O, should I be happy in Heaven,
If one whom I love is not there?
Would not the bright heritage given
Be a burden too dreadful to bear?
The crown and the harp, and the mansion
In that sunlight that never shall set;
Will the soul in its glorious expansion,
Thrilled with rapture, its sorrow forget?

O, would I be happy in Heaven
I ask? Could that other world's bliss
Make up to the soul that has striven
For the hopes that are blighted in this?
Could we walk by the beautiful river,
Could we tread the bright pavements of gold;
Forgetting, forgetting forever
The friends and affections of old?

O, shall we be happy in Heaven,
When the tears are all wiped from our eyes?
Will our hearts never ache- anguish-riven-
For a soul that eternally dies?
If one thing could soothe the sad spirit,
'Twere His love, who before us hath trod;
Could we think of one loved one and bear it,
Shut out from the presence of God?

O, this is so little of living,
And that is so endlessly more;
Shall the strongest of ties Time is weaving
Be rent at the portal before?
To one, endless happiness given,
To one, an eternal despair;
O, can we be happy in Heaven,
If one whom we love is not there?

O Thou, who in agony's garden,
Wept teardrops of sorrow and blood;
Who paid on the cross for our pardon,
Redeemed us from sin unto God,
May one priceless answer be given
The longing that burdens my prayer;
That when I am with Thee in Heaven,
All, all whom I love may be there!

One Little Glimpse Of Heaven

One thought of holy ecstasy
Breaks on my spirit's sight
Like a bright, flashing meteor
Athwart the skies at night;
'Tis not of all the glory
Eternity may hold,
That centuries unmeasured
Shall wondrously unfold;
'Tis not of all the music
Angelic choirs shall pour,
Like rolling ocean billows,
To break on either shore;
My thoughts turn back bewildered,
Too weak to comprehend
The unsolved mighty problem
Of the never-ending end;
But sometimes vaguely, dimly,
I seam to realize
One glimpse of all the glory
Unseen by mortal eyes;
One burst of matchless music,
That souls redeemed hath stirred;
One sweep of that grand melody,
That ear hath never heard.
Thou saint, who circling cycles
Hath borne through seas of bliss,
I ask not of your triumphs
From such a world as this;
But thou, exultant spirit,
Freed from a world of woe,
Who the first glimpse of Heaven
Hath journeyed out to know,
Tell me what thrill of rapture,
Of happiness divine,
Hath thrilled and swayed and overflowed
That human heart of thine?
The dungeon bars behind thee,
The palace gates before,
Thou, entering to the presence
Of God forevermore,
One burst of Heavenly light,
And all beyond thee- glory,
And all behind thee- night;
Life's give of sin and misery,
Earth's dower of blight and ban,
How seem they, when a glimpse of Heaven
Enters the heart of man?
Oh, all the strife and discord
Of years that seemed so long,
The sound of earthly voices
That thrilled the world with song,
The glare of earthly grandeur,
The pleasure and the pain,
Life with its doubtful portion
Of blessing and of bane,
Left like a heavy burden
All in the vanished past,
To rise above corruption,
A grave-stone at the last!
Needs it a vast forever,
With joy its grief to drown,
The power of endless ages,
To bid it crumble down?
Oh, when within the presence
Of glory and grace,
We hear archangel trumpets,
Behold the Saviour's face,
Before the crown is brought us,
Before the palm we wave,
Before we have forgotten
The darkness of the grave;
When with a song of triumph
The chains of death are riven,
The clouds of years will melt before,
One little glimpse of Heaven!