When last I saw your face,
When last we spoke, and laughed, and sighed,
We told each other, “Yes, I’ll see you soon”—
But now the miles sprawl out wide,
The cruel dividing space.
From her unyielding lofty seat,
Stirs all our heartstrings in a bitter tune,
Decreeing that we may not meet,
For space bars you from me.
In sorrow now I look
Across the misty sea of Time,
Straining to see our next meeting ahead,
But from the ocean only climb
Dim phantoms tempest-shook.
Naught’s certain on these waves;
On them I cannot rest my heart;
What floats on Chance too often sinks like lead.
And yet while we remain apart,
My pain still healing craves.
A heart must have a rock,
A solid place on which to rest.
Is there no cure for restless spirits’ ache,
No stay for hearts too sorely pressed
By wind’s rush and wave’s knock?
A voice I now hear call,
Not from the waves, but o’er them high:
“Recall you not that I too, on the lake,
Knew stormy waters rising high,
And bade the tempest fall?
“I know the storm you face,
The turbulence of chance and change,
Shaking and stealing what you hold so dear.
To Me your tears are nothing strange,
The state of all your race.
“A rock of rest you seek—
Know that you have this refuge sure.
I am the rock unchanged; the beacon clear
Is my Heart’s fire, burning for
The weary and the weak.
“Take courage; know you this:
Your voyage harsh will not be long,
One day’s brave sailing, and your coast you reach,
Splendors unshaken—o, be strong!—
And you’ll find those you miss.
“So while you ride the waves,
Keep near to Me, your rock, your light,
And I will keep you, bring you over each
High swell, mad gust, dark shade of night.
I am the One Who saves.”
One moment through the storm
I glimpse a flash, a piercing glow,
A gleam from high hills of eternity,
And Him Whom we need faith to know,
For we see not His form.
‘Tis fleeting, yet its ray
Burns like the lightning through my soul,
Not chasing sorrow’s dark away from me,
But firing me for a goal—
This, this will constant stay.
The sea remains the sea,
And fierce the voyage I must make,
But its tumult will not make me afraid.
Though wild swell may steal or break
All we know presently,
We are not of the sea,
But boldly press on toward the land,
Given to us by the great promise made
By Him Who could on water stand
And from it sets us free.
So storms of grief shall cease
Ere long, for it’s not long we sail;
My dear, I tell you—yes, I’ll see you soon.
Our blessed Beacon will not fail;
‘Tis He is our sure peace.
Then let our hearts be strong
Upon the course that forward lies,
Our gaze fixed on our homeland past the moon;
For when we look through Heaven’s eyes,
‘Tis never really long.