Scripture Verse

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.@Isaiah 40:31

Introduction

portrait
Fanny Crosby
(1820–1915)

Words: Fan­ny Cros­by, in The Ark of Praise, ed­it­ed by John Swe­ney (Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia: John J. Hood, 1882), num­ber 74.

Music: John R. Swe­ney (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
John R. Sweney
(1837–1899)

Background

The fol­low­ing in­tro­duced the song:

On the steam fer­ry boat ply­ing be­tween Liv­er­pool and Birken­head there might have been seen a few years ago a poor crip­pled boy, his bo­dy was grown al­most to man’s size, but his limbs were wi­thered and help­less, and not big­ger than the limbs of a child. He used to wheel him­self about in a small car­riage.

He had a li­ttle mu­sic­al in­stru­ment on which he played, and while he ne­ver asked for any­thing, ve­ry few of the pas­sen­gers could hear his sweet mu­sic, or look at his hon­est, cheer­ful face, with­out drop­ping a pen­ny or two in­to his car­riage.

One day a la­dy was stand­ing near, look­ing at him with great pi­ty; she thought how sad and lone­ly he must feel, un­a­ble to help him­self, and with no pros­pect of ev­er be­ing any bet­ter in this world, and turn­ing to a friend who was with her, she said, Poor boy, what a sad life he has to lead, and no­thing in all the fu­ture to look for­ward to.

She did not in­tend that he should hear this re­mark, but he did hear it, and as she was leav­ing the boat she saw a tear in his eye, and a bright smile on his face try­ing to chase the tear away, as he said, I’m ex­pect­ing to have wings some day, la­dy.

Lyrics

There’s a voice that comes in my lonely hours,
And tenderly speaks to me
Of rest and home in my Father’s house,
Where happy my soul shall be.

Refrain

I shall have wings, beautiful wings,
I shall have wings some day—
Bright wings of love from God above
To bear my glad soul away.

O I sit and think of those radiant wings,
By faith I behold them now,
And feel the hand of my Savior laid
So lovingly on my brow.

Refrain

There’s a home for me, there’s a home for me,
My Savior has told me so,
Were tears of sorrow and pain shall cease
And pleasure eternal flow.

Refrain

Oh the wings, the wings that I soon shall wear,
And joyfully speed my flight
From toil and care to a mansion fair
Of beauty and endless light.

Refrain