As the caged eagle neared the mountain range,
O’er which he oft had soared on pinions strong,
He clapped his wings, moved by some impulse strange,
And then fell dead his prison floor along.
So Moses stood on Pisgah’s heights alone,
With sight undimmed, and unabated strength;
He gazed with rapture on the vision shown,
Of the fair land in all its breadth and length;
He saw the vale of Eschol clad with vine,
Mount Libbanus adorned with lordly trees,
Gilead and Achor, with their lowing kine,
And verdant Sharon swept by the sea breeze;
He saw the spot where Jacob’s ladder stood,
The oaks at Mamre where their father prayed,
Saw Bashan with its pastures and its wood,
And the rude cave where Abram Sarah laid.
Saw the whole land–its hills and vales and streams,
Its lakes and pools, its vineyards and its groves,
A wealth and glory far beyond his dreams;
Better, it seemed, than all earth’s treasure troves.
God then revealed a glimpse of His own face,
Which Moses once desired, but God withheld,
But finished now the God-ordained race,
The battle fought, and every passion quelled.
As he beholds the glory of his Lord,
And looks within the pearly gates ajar,
Snaps, in an instant, life’s frail brittle cord,
And he is where the holy angels are.
So is it, likewise, with most dying saints;
They see e’en here the beatific sight;
The spirit then breaks thro’ this world’s restraints,
And enters into heaven’s effulgent light.
Not sorrow snaps the silver cord, but joy;
Not woe, but bliss, expands the golden bowl.
The pitcher breaks when free from earth’s alloy,
And fails the wheel when heaven has filled the soul.