Onward, still on!–though the pathway be dreary,–
Though few be the fountains that gladden the way,–
Though the tired spirit grow feeble and weary,
And droop in the heat of the toil-burdened day;
Green in the distance the hills of thy Canaan
Lift their bright heads in a tenderer light,
Where the full boughs with rich fruits overladen
Spread their luxurious treasures in sight.
Onward, still onward!–around us are falling
Lengthening shadows as daylight departs;
Up from the past mournful voices are calling,
Often we pause with irresolute hearts.
Wherefore look backward?–the flower thou didst gather
Wounded thy hand with the thorn it concealed,–
Onward, and stay not!–the voice of thy Father
Calls thee to glory and bliss unrevealed.
Onward!-Earth’s radiance fadeth,–the glory
That gilded her brow when the noon was in prime
Faileth each hour, and the chill mist is hoary!
Gathering thick on the dim shores of time.
Yet as the stars come out brighter and clearer
While the day faints in the slow-fading west,
So do the home-lights grow larger and nearer,
Clearer the ray on the hills of thy rest.
Onward, and stay not!–the fountain, the flower,
Toward which thou’rt pressing with wearying haste.
Are but the mirage that floats for an hour,
Glowing and green o’er the desolate waste;
Yet from the distance come tender home-melodies
Borne from the Summer-land over the flood,
Lovingly wooing thee homeward and Heavenward
To the sweet rest of thy Saviour and God.