Saturday, October 27, 2007

Where the grass really is greener

There is a land of pure delight
where saints immortal reign,
Infinite day excludes the night,
and pleasure banish pain;

Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
are dressed in living green
So to the Jews old Canaan stood,

while Jordan rolled between.

There everlasting spring abides
and never with'ring flow'rs;
Death, like a narrow sea, divides
that heavenly land from ours.

Yet tim'rous mortals start and shrink
to cross that narrow sea,
And linger, shiv'ring, on the brink,

too feared to launch away.

O could we make our doubts remove,
those gloomy doubts that rise,
And see the Canaan that we love

with unbeclouded eyes!

Could we but climb where Moses stood,

and view the landscape o'er,
Not Jordan's stream nor death's cold flood

could drive us from the shore!

-- Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
[Paragraphing and stanza orders follow William Billings' setting, "Jordan"]

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